Council refuses to collect pensioner's rubbish


rubbish bags

Castle Point Borough Council has refused to collect one pensioner's rubbish - claiming that because of where he left the rubbish for them to collect, they couldn't pick it up it because of health and safety fears.

So what did 72-year-old George Whatley do wrong?


The major infringement committed by the Canvey Island pensioner was to put the bag of rubbish on top of a wheelie bin in order to stop foxes from tearing into the bag.

Whatley had bought his own bin to stop animals ripping into the bag, and after the council told him they would not collect from inside the bin, he put the bag on top, ready for collection.

Even given his 20 years experience as a health and safety worker, he couldn't find anything dangerous about his decision.

However council workers disagreed. They said that the rubbish was too high off the ground for them to collect, because lifting rubbish that is not left on the ground leaves them exposed to the risk of a lifting injury.

He told the Daily Mail:" I'm a pensioner with a heart condition and I have no problem doing it."

The council told the newspaper that Whatley had called them after he had spoken to the bin men, and that collectors had returned to pick up the bag. They said that residents in his street are asked to leave black bags at the kerbside.

Odd decisions

However, they are not the first council to make a confusing decision regarding our rubbish. We reported back in February that Kensington and Chelsea council had decided to take litter bins off the high street, because they attracted rubbish.

Then there was Denbighshire Council, which ordered the owners of pretty almshouses in one village to store five bins in their front gardens. It wasn't just an eyesore, it also made it hard for people to get into their properties past the bins.

But perhaps one of the oddest decisions was by cash-strapped Bury council, who invested £9,000 in iPads for bin men - to help them keep track of whether people were recycling properly.