Bin complaints still causing a real stink

Margaret Humphreys, who was miffed her bin wasn't collected from her Marsh Green home, is one of thousands to complain to Wigan Council
Margaret Humphreys, who was miffed her bin wasn't collected from her Marsh Green home, is one of thousands to complain to Wigan Council

MORE than 1,000 angry residents have complained about their bins not being emptied so far this year.

Data released under Freedom of Information rules shows that people have logged onto Wigan Council’s website to report problems with their collections.

However, the figures show Wigan is one of the best performing in Greater Manchester.

The council collects black general rubbish bins every other week, with plastics and glasses and garden waste (brown and green bins) every fortnight and paper and card in blue bins once a month.

Wheelie bins may not be collected for reasons such as being too full or containing wrong items.

Wigan outperforms Manchester, which had 3,169 complaints, Salford, which had 2,612, and Stockport, which had 1,772.

Only Trafford and Tameside had fewer complaints, with 1,224 and 212 respectively.

Paul Barton, interim assistant director of operational services at Wigan Council, said: “We collect 12m bins a year so the number of missed bins complained about equates to a minute proportion of those in total.

“But we strive to collect as many bins as possible because improving our recycling rates has helped us freeze council tax for residents who recycle more and recycle right through The Deal.

“It is always important for residents to remember too about making sure they are putting their bins out at the right time in the right location for collection as this can often mean that bins are not always collected.”

One Wiganer who was unsatisfied by the council’s bin collecton was Margaret Humphreys, 54, who was angry after her black rubbish bin – which contained dead mice – was missed out during a collection in August in Lancaster Road, Marsh Green. Wigan’s binmen sparked a big interest over the summer following a fly-on-the-wall ITV documentary Don’t Blame The Council, which showed one member of staff reprimanded for going home mid shift and another asleep in his lorry.

Meanwhile, another peeved resident contacted the Evening Post to complain about a public litter bin at the junction of Alexander Road and Wigan Road in Ashton, which, it has been suggested, has not been emptied for week.

Mr Barton said: “We are always grateful to people who dispose of their waste in the correct manner and we will make sure the area is cleaned up immediately.

“If in future anyone spots a problem where bins are in need of emptying sooner than we can get to them you can report it to us online or through our Report It app which you can download for Android mobiles and iPhones.”