We’ve all been caught out when it comes to forgetting to put the rubbish out. It’s annoying, and it either means a trip to the tip, or an overflowing wheelie bin the next time rubbish collection day rolls around. But for a group of residents in Stirling, Scotland, it wasn’t them who forgot to put the bins out; it was the bin men who forgot to pick them up.
Or rather, it was the bin men who couldn’t find the wheelie bins in order to empty them.
The residents concerned live in a retirement complex, and, because their bins weren’t emptied for five weeks, they ended up having to keep their rubbish in cupboards in their own homes because there was nowhere else to keep it. Since all the bins were overflowing, the residents were – quite rightly – worried that the rubbish could cause a health hazard by enticing rodents into the area. Plus, rubbish flowing out of the bins and onto the ground was hardly pleasant to look at. Or smell.
And although the tenants themselves, as well as the staff who care for them, have contacted the council more than once, no one ever got back to them. It was something of a mystery indeed.
Finally, Stirling Council realised that there was a problem after numerous complaints – they sent an officer out to investigate what had gone wrong, and why the bins were simply not being emptied.
And then, after weeks of confusion, full up bins and fed up residents, a conclusion was come to; the bin men just could not find the bins in order to empty them.
Despite the fact that the council had been able to empty the bins previously, when they had been stored in the same place, a new recycling regime seems to be the culprit behind the confusion. These bins were intended to be taken out to the roadside for collection, but since the regular wheelie bins were always kept in the store, even on collection days, none of the residents realised that a change had come about. And the rubbish collectors had no idea they were meant to find the rubbish anywhere other than by the roadside.
A lack of communication? It seems so. But the residents are still upset about it. Since they are all retired and therefore older, and since many of them are unable to take the bins out to where the council has now asked them to be taken for collection due to frail health, the problem may still persist.
The residents and Stirling Council are working together to create a solution to the issue, although one answer does seem to be a rather obvious one – if the collections worked before, when the rubbish collectors took the bins from the store and then returned them after they had been emptied, why not return to this system? Or maybe they should have wheelie bins that put themselves out!
In the meantime, staff and carers are attempting to help out where they can. Let’s hope the residents of this particular block of flats sees an end to this problem very soon.