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Binmen are blocking us in our home, claim Bloxwich couple

Walsall | News | Published:

Putting out your own wheelie bins every week can be enough of a hassle.

But having to move up to 16 the next morning has left a retired couple at the end of their tether.

They claim binmen are blocking off their home with other people's wheelie bins. Susan and Frederick Halls say up to 16 bins are sometimes left outside their terraced house in Bloxwich – making it difficult for them to get out.

They live in a narrow close with a path between two opposite rows of houses. And while residents are placing the bins outside their own properties, she claims the binmen are not returning them.

Instead, Mrs Halls says, they are being left outside her home at the end of the terrace in Buxton Close.

The 65-year-old retired school caretaker, said: "This has been going on for three years.

"They are collecting the bins and instead of putting them back where they have been collected from, they are leaving them outside our house.

"If someone needed an ambulance or was ill and needed to be taken out they would really struggle and there is no way through.

"I've complained so many times but nothing is being done."

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She said senior members of council staff went out on a round with the refuse collectors one day after she had complained – and the bins were returned to the correct positions.

She said the problem started again the following week.

The couple have so far collected 20 names on a petition calling for the bins to be put back in the correct places.

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They say they have the support of residents in a neighbouring street and hope to collect more signatures in the coming days.

Mrs Halls said: "I am not asking the binmen to do anything they are not supposed to do. This is their job and they should be returning the bins to where they got them from."

The couple have lived in the street for 23 years and say they 'never expected' this would happen when wheelie bins were introduced.

Tom Evans, operations manager for waste at Walsall Council, said: "We were contacted by the householder back in May and carried out inspections around collection time, but there was no evidence of any problem.

"We would ask her to contact us on 01922 653344 to report any issues so they can be looked into."

It comes after calls were made for Walsall's policy to be reviewed following complaints about residents being billed when they move into new homes. People living in Walsall are charged for replacement bins and people moving in to new-build homes are also forced to pay.

It has also been claimed it is not clear in the policy guidelines who is responsible for providing them, although the authority says it is not up to them to supply first-time buyers. Walsall Council has already come under fire after a zero-tolerance recycling crackdown saw 'binspectors' checking bins for the wrong rubbish, with those contaminated going uncollected.

Bosses agreed to make its policy clearer to avoid any confusion, although Councillor Pete Smith has been calling for the bins to be supplied by the authority.

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