Anger at crackdown on Walsall waste collections

The roll out of a controversial recycling crackdown in Walsall has left residents furious amid claims the council is refusing to take bins if rules are slightly broken.

Jillian Phillips with her bin outside her home in Lichfield Road, Walsall
Jillian Phillips with her bin outside her home in Lichfield Road, Walsall

Householders in Lichfield Road in Rushall were among those hit by the new, tough policy, with one claiming he was the 200th person to call Walsall Borough Council about the collections in a matter of hours.

Under a new scheme launched this week, binmen have been ordered not to take away any green recycling bins which contain the wrong items.

These are deemed to be things like food, household waste, nappies and black bags.

Council chiefs said they had been forced to take a stand after a drop in the recycling rate, meaning more cash is being spent sending rubbish to landfill.

However, the initiative has caused uproar in some streets. Lichfield Road resident Steve Onions, aged 58, said he was “absolutely disgusted” after his bin and scores of his neighbours’ were not picked up.

He claimed three council workers had been checking the bins while another was placing stickers on those they had refused to collect.

Mr Onions noticed his bin had not been emptied at 1pm.

He said: “I’m paying my council tax just for these people to be walking around. Why can’t the binmen do it? It’s a disgrace.

“I called up and the manager said to me: ‘We’ve been braced for this ever since the council made the decision. We were told if there’s anything at all out of the ordinary it’s not to be collected. You’re the 200th caller I’ve had this morning’.”

Mr Onions said he approached the woman who had been checking the bins to ask why his had not been collected, and was told there was a lid on a jar and a tin had not been washed properly. I had a real mind to just kick the bin in the road,” he said.

Walsall councillor Tom Ansell, responsible for environment, said: “It’s very early days so we don’t have figures on how much recycling we couldn’t take away. We would remind people to put the right recycling out.”