11,000 bins are not emptied in Walsall during recycling crackdown

More than 11,000 bins went uncollected in Walsall during the first two weeks of a controversial recycling crackdown, it was revealed today.

Checks on recycling bins in Botany Road, Walsall
Checks on recycling bins in Botany Road, Walsall

Thousands of green recycling bins were slapped with yellow stickers to show they would not be emptied after being found to contain the wrong items.

Officers – dubbed “binspectors” – travelled with crews to check residents’ bins for the wrong items, such as food, household waste and black bags.

The move has proved controversial with residents and sparked a flurry of complaints, with some claiming they felt penalised for trying to recycle.

Sean Coughlan, deputy leader of Walsall’s Labour group, said: “We find it really disappointing the council has allowed it to get to this stage.

“As local councillors we’re all picking up complaints from our most vulnerable residents, who in many cases are the more elderly people.”

Council chiefs say the zero-tolerance crackdown was introduced after increasing amounts of “contaminated” waste had to be sent to landfill, costing taxpayers money.

Figures from the first two weeks of the operation show more than 11,000 of the borough’s 100,000 households fell foul of the crackdown.

Tom Ansell, environment chief, said: “We now have two weeks of data on recycling collections since November 19.

“This tells us that an overwhelming majority of 89 per cent of residents are recycling properly.

“Every item improperly recycled effectively costs the taxpayer money which is why we are being diligent and residents can help us to do this.”

Yvonne Preston, of Skip Lane, was one of the thousands of residents who did not have their bin collected.

The married 53-year-old today said she was still not entirely sure what incorrect item had been placed in her bin, making it difficult for her to sort out the problem.

She added: “I’m worried because there is a problem with fly-tipping at the end of Skip Lane and I’m worried people will come and just start dumping their bags of rubbish here.”

Mrs Preston also said passers-by could dump the ‘wrong’ rubbish in people’s bins.

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Comments for: "11,000 bins are not emptied in Walsall during recycling crackdown"

julie parsons

My recycling wasn't taken. It will now be put in black bags and put in the refuse bin. I haven't got time to waste sorting stuff for Walsall Council. There are no illegal items in my bin just cardboard food packaging, plastic milk bottles, glass bottles, cardboard, carrier bags. All items on the list issued to me. Stickers were just put on bins without contents being checked in my area.

Walsall Council should remember we pay for refuse collection. I do not work for Walsall Council and will not be sorting their rubbish out for them. It all ends up in landfill anyway.


There is a simple way to resolve this problem of the wrong items being put in the green recycling bins......... stop recycling and just put everything in to the black general waste bin!

As far as I am aware there is no law which says we must recycle and the council must empty the black bins regardless.

Since Walsall council started being very fussy about what goes into the recycling bins I have found I get confused, so now I only recycle newspapers, glass and cereal packets. I am so confused about which plastics I can or can't recycle that I've given up trying to guess and now all plastic goes into the black bin. Hence my recycling bin is almost empty every fortnight but my black bin is full every week! It used to be the other way round.

Perhaps Walsall council could give us some financial figures. Is it cheaper to send everything to landfill or cheaper to sort the recycling?


your right to say you can not be forced to recycle but the council can tell you what goes in the bins

i can't see what the problem is my self everyones had a leaflet to tell you what can and can't go in the green bin so just follow the 20 items on the leaflet and if your unsure about an item put it in your grey bin and then you will have both bins emptied on a weekly basis till march with out any problems


Most of the rubbish doesnt get recycled anyway so why are they being so particular, in london the rubbish is taken to a plasmer incinerator and used for making electricty which is then sold back to the national grid. i just find walsall council create problems rather than solve them.

Linda Hurley

My mother who lives in Streetly showed me a leaflet which had been dropped about what can and cannot be re-cyled by Walsall Council. I found it amazing that there are so many items which they will not have in the bins. My re-cycle bin is collected by Lichfield Council who have been re-cylcing for years and we can put in most items of household waste, in so much that the black bins for general rubbish should never have much in them at all. I think Walsall Council should take a look at what Lichfield can actually do.


Don't Lichfield have about 4 boxes? These guys would be delighted with that. They can't be bothered to work out what to do with the 2 bins they have already.


I got a copy of that leaflet too.

It says something about top 20 items you can recycle;

in fact there are ONLY 20 items you can recycle.

It then goes on to list about 30 things you CAN'T recycle, the list of stuff you can't recycle is longer and more comprehensive than what you can.

Looks like it was done in one of the junior schools as a project.


they should withhold 11,000 worth of council tax charges for the non service


I'm not sure why people are moaning so much. They still have a weekly rubbish collection anyway. The fact that Walsall allows for 1 recycle bin for everything and not have to have 10 different tubs lying around is a bonus in my eyes. I admit that i did put in foil and plasic bags in for a while because i just assumed that they'd take em. Turns out I was wrong but now they do take them so all is good. They only things they don't take now is really food waste, nappies, plastic food packaging, old clothing, toys, furniture, garden waste, wood, rubble and electrical items but all those are common sense anyway.


thats not actually correct. The small general waste bin is collected once per week, the recycling bin the next week...that isnt a weekly collection.

Frankly, if my bin gets left (and it is unclear what plastics are and are not recylcable, it will all just get taken to the tip and dumped


"The small general waste bin is collected once per week"

Sounds like a weekly rubbish collection to me.


If you are going to be a pedant.....

The general waste bin is collected one week and the recycling bin is not. The following week the recycling bin is collected and not the general waste bin. It seems strange that you do not already know this, are you actually in the Walsall borough?


Biffo !!!!! do you actually live in Walsall borough??? because if you do, you should have your grey general waste bin, emptied every week !!!!!!!!! or are we just lucky in Brownhills ?????


Actually Biffo, you are wrong. The grey bin is collected every week. The green bin and the brown garden waste bins are collected alternate weeks generally. During the winter the brown bin collection stops and the green bin is collected every week. If you are going to call someone a pedant, I suggest you get your facts right!

Stig of the dump

What a load of rubbish...Someone needs to get a life...

Tony Powis - Wolverhampton

I can't believe what is happening here, we recycle to make money go further and here is a woman being paid by the council out of OUR Council tax to sort through dustbins and if the bins have the wrong rubbish in they are not being emptied, which is what we pay our council tax for. Walsall Council you are a disgrace!!!!


One fatal flaw in Walsall Council's plan to do their bit for the environment - they send bin lorries out during rush hour! This means that all cars that are held up by them are running for a longer period of time. It is really annoying that I spend time sorting my rubbish into reclycling and non-recycling only for them to then collect that rubbish during rush hour extending both my journey and everyone else's and causing damage to the environment in a different way instead.

Also, they change the rules on what you can and cannot recycle. For example, it said on the leaflet 2 years ago that you could recycle carrier bags, then last year it said that you could not, this year you can again but not if that carrier bag has something inside it, even if the something inside is recyclable. Lots of people use a carrier bag indoors to collect their recycling together and then dump it in the bin - apparently this is not allowed, you have to empty the bag into the bin and then put the bag in as well - how stupid is that?!

Trevor Davies

I live in St Matthews Close where Walsall Council in a fit of brain seizure a couple of years ago removed our individual recyling bins and replaced them with a communal bin. This bin has now become a haven for fly tippers disposing of black bags, food, nappies and even hyperdermic syringes therein. I have spoken to Street Pride about having our individual bins back, but they just do not wish to know about it. Consequently it now looks as though our bin will never be emptied again because of the contaminated materials it contains. When will Street Pride come to their senses?

D Richards

Last week walsall council didn't even collect in our street at all !! No stickers were left nothing, the whole street was just left. This was reported but I was told there was a break down, another neighbour was told it was cut backs, but was going to come back and do the collection next day but this still didn't happen. Walsall council is a joke !

Steve Thomas

How dare they. This zealous nonsense has to stop. If the council are really interested in recycling and environmental matters maybe they could start by turning the lights off in all their offices and reduce the amounts of energy and paper they consume. How dare these pip squeeks assume that we have to work on their behalf by sorted rubbish for them.


I didn't have my bin emptied last week just had a sticker on to say something was in the bin that shouldn't be. Well I tipped it all out onto my front garden and couldn't work out what shouldn't have been in there so now I have a FULL recycle bin that won't be emptied for two weeks therefore everything will have to go in the rubbish bin.


did you not get the leaflet that says recycling bins are being emptied every week until the end of february 2013 ????????

London Bloke

The simple solution is for the council to put the sorting in the hands a contractor or in-house team and add the cost to council tax but not give it back in council tax benefit so ensuring that everyone pays. Since it is not necessarily the high council tax houses that create the most waste make it a fixed charge, per household per week. Could it be simpler?

On the subject of people taking things to the tip, the council need to ensure that traders are not dumping commercial waste and avoiding tax. I have recently come across traders who take waste to the tip in cars rather than vans to try to fool operatives into believing it is private rather than trade waste. Carpets, garden prunings and wood are prime examples.

benefit bend hater

Think of the money the council are saving in

This farce.wages,obviously the binmen

Wouldn,t be kept on duty if they didn't have to

Empty 11000 bins,fuel (they didn't have to

Go to the tip so often,and we are paying for

This so called service.that's the binmens xmas

Tip up the swanny !!!! Roll on the next

Council elections.good old walsall council

No wonder the government are keeping a

Close eye on them

rickie roberts

Now everyone in Walsall can say they work for the council, or rather, do the council's work for them. When will council staff realise that they are our employees. It is their job to do things for us, not us for them.

Rise up, we are not slaves, we are free men (and women)!


This is what you get for electing a left wind labour council,, you lot voted them in you live with the problem

Big Snakey

Peter, the political parties in charge at Walsall Council are Conservative and Lib Dems and they have been in power for some time, so it is not a left wing Labour Council at all making these decisions!


I completely understood the crackdown, and agreed with it, however, Im wondering why my neighbours recylcle bin was emptied today, after being 'stickered n left' last week, when it was emptied today, with exactly the same stuff in that wasn't emptied last time, now that was a waste of time and money, if you're going to carackdown WMBC, then follow it through!


I for one am disgusted that I am expected to follow a very simple instruction. Glass, cardboard, paper? All separate to the other stuff? Madness.

If Walsall Council are intent on helping the environment and reducing landfill then I'm having NO part in that. I LIKE landfill and think that there are too many holes in the world.

While I'm at it I'd like to condemn Walsall Council for the litter pickers I saw last week. While there are no leaves on the hedges, I much prefer crisp packets covering the gap.


'What a load of rubbish', my bin wasn't collected for whatever reason.

Simple solution to this is......... I will not recycle any more if for the sake of a simple black binliner, I will stick everything in the blue bin, what a waste of time.

Is Walsall that boring these days that this is how the council spend their time?

London Bloke

And that is exactly why they should abandon this recycling scheme and instead charge an extra £10 per week per household in coucil tax to sort the rubbish.

You have no "right" to behave as you suggest. You have a civic duty to comply and if you don't comply you should pay. Why should the responsible people who obey the rules pay for the lazy stay-a-beds to have it done for them?

mr refuse collector

It's not rocket science to put the correct rubbish in the correct bin. Some of you lot are trouble makers hell bent on giving the council a hard time and then bleating about a poor service. THIS IS YOUR OWN FAULT, grow up and recycle like the rest of us.

a proper bin man

bring back the metal bins full of proper rubbish then you can lug them up the drive and empty them instead of the public doing your job for you


Wow after reading the comments above what the people of Walsall think of their Council, can you understand why the people of Wednesfield do not want to come under Walsall Council. Walsall Council you stick to your borders and we will stick to ours, you seem like a load of jobsworths.


All this could be cleared up if the local press published a list of what can and cannot be put in what bin,I wash all cans bottles iron the newspapers before

putting the into my bin,Am confused as to which bin I should to use for laundered



Those councils!

And they even have "Chief Executives" to oversee such idiocy.

Just remember, nearly 80% of your council tax goes on salaries, pensions and expenses - what an outfit!


Everyone should recylce there rubbish ,it does not take long to do and is not that hard to understand if you read the info that they send,

to many peeps throw so much away and dont worry about were it is going .

we can only do this for so long before we run out of places to dump it,

there are so many places now we can give items to for recycle but peeps would rather throw them in the bin,

bikes computers ,phones cardboard can all be recycled tins even,


lol you dont have a clue they only burn the paper and cardboard too expensive to recycle

Englishman In Canada

Totally agree, here in Canada recycling is second nature. Our city will only collect one bag of rubbish each week, everything else (including all bio-degradable waste) must go in to recycle bins. This encourages households to recycle because if you put out two bags only one will be collected. We are a family of five who sort at source and generally only fill half a rubbish bag a week. The UK needs to catch up with the rest of the developed world!

Blocko Saddler

How far can you actually miss the point Glynis?

This is not about people not wanting to recycle, its about people actively recycling and the council refusing to take it due to a couple or rougue items. Id the council don't take it where are the householders going to use to get rid of it? The obvious answer is the landfill bound rubbish. The council are making things worse.

We pay the council to take away our rubbish, they then sell the recycling to a third party company, but who is supposed to do the sorting of this recycling? The company making a profit from it? The council who sell it for cash? Nah, let the good old council tax payer do it and let everyone else make a nice profit!


In south staffs we have two bins....1for general waste & 1 for garden waste. A large open top container for Paper, plastic,glass& cardboard.

This has stopped the general waste amount by up to 60%.

Next year we will have a large bin for all re-cycle material and a seperate container for "food waste".

With this our council tax is lower than Walsall.

Flat Man

If you live in a flat you don;t have to recycle becuase we have the Big Industrial Bins, and they just get picked up no matter whats in them!


There are now 11000 households with full bins and full recycling bins so they'll have to lay on extra collections to clear the backlog (which they created), so that will cost more money.

And where is all that uncollected rubbish going to go? Landfill, so it will cost more money.

The bad weather is coming too, so collections will get disrupted, so that will cost more money.

Someone, somewhere really needs a grown-up talking to about how to win the hearts and minds of the residents who pay their wages.


My re-cycle bin has not been emptied on both of the last collections - with no sticker or information on why or what was wrong! I haven't changed anything I put in there and have been using the re-cycle bin for years - it would be helpful if they had put a sticker on saying why.

I now have to go to the dump at my own expense and still don't know what I have done wrong. I accept they make checks, but to not tell me what item caused the whole bin not to be emptied, on both occasions is ridiculous. With Xmas round the corner I can't afford for my bins not to be emptied.

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