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Council refuse to empty bins if liners aren’t tied

By Paul Ainsworth

A CARRYDUFF man who was forced to empty his own bin after a “bizarre” health and safety concern meant it was left untouched by binmen has hit out at  Castlereagh Borough Council. John McGoran of Manse Drive went out to collect his wheelie bin last week only to find it still full outside his home. He was further baffled when he found a note stuck to the bin stating staff had left it untouched as he had failed to tie the binliner inside it.

The note claimed untied bags were now a health and safety concern and that in future all similar bins would remain unemptied. However, Mr McGoran questioned the council’s fears, and also slammed the local authority for failing to give notice to ratepayers over the new policy.

“I’d gone out to bring the bin back in and found it was still full, even though I knew the bin lorry had been and gone,” he said.

“When I read the note claiming untied binliners were a hazard I laughed out loud. It’s bizarre, as surely the lorry itself does most of the hard work. However, it was the fact that they couldn’t give us a bit of notice on this that really annoyed me and I ended up bringing the rubbish to the dump myself. When I rang to complain, they told me they could come back the following day – if I’d tied the binliner of course – but I told them not to bother as I’d emptied it myself. The whole thing is a joke.”

However, a spokesperson for Castlereagh Council said the new rule was a result of several “minor incidents”, and a recent risk assessment.

“We introduced a new operational procedure to no longer collect bins with liners affixed to the rim or protruding from the bin,” they said.

“Where the Council was unable to collect bins, letters were issued to affected householders asking them to tie the bin liner within their bin and the Council would arrange for their bin to be collected either the same day or the following day.  There was no requirement for residents to empty their own bin.

“The new operational procedure was introduced due to the potential risk of injury to staff and members of the public from open bin liners catching on the loading mechanism of the refuse collection vehicle.  This could cause a risk of the bin and its contents coming into contact with refuse operatives or passers-by.

“The Council appreciates this change in operational procedure may initially cause minor disruption to some residents but would ask for their understanding during this transition period. “

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