Scots council ridiculed after refusing to collect bins for being ‘too heavy’

A Scottish council has attracted ridicule and anger on social media after claiming it is unable to collect people’s bins because they are getting too heavy.

The authority claims people's bins are getting too heavy.
The authority claims people's bins are getting too heavy.

In a post on Facebook, Dumfries and Galloway Council said its staff had reported a “substantial increase” in the number of overfilled wheelie bins.

It said this had led to bins full of waste being left on pavements and “tagged” with different colours to inform residents that they had been deemed either too heavy or too full.

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The post attracted more than 1,600 angry comments from local residents in less than 24 hours, with some describing the area’s waste and recycling system as a “shambles” and a “bloody joke”.

Unlike in other parts of Scotland, households in most areas of Dumfries and Galloway do not have access to kerbside recycling, but have their general mixed waste collected once a week.

Kerbside recycling for food waste as well as glass, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard are currently only available to people living in Wigtownshire.

Many local residents reacting to the council’s post on Facebook pointed out that their bins would be lighter and less full if recycling in the area was more widespread.

Sharon Cameron said the system was an “absolute shambles”, adding: “How on earth do you know if your bin is too heavy – what’s the guidance on this, or is it just up to each individual bin man?”

David Gibbons said the area was the “only place I’ve lived where we don’t get a recycling bin or collection and then [the] council complain that one bin for a family gets overfilled”.

He added: “I look forward to receiving my bin weighing scales in the post. I’ll also look forward to forwarding on the bill for valeting my car when I’m expected to take waste to the dump.”

Lisa Fuller said her bin had been tagged as too heavy by council staff despite the fact that her husband had wheeled it “from the back garden, through the house...down eight steps to the road.”

Other residents highlighted the council’s failure to roll out a recycling scheme despite buying thousands of bins seven years ago, which may now never be used.

A report published earlier this month said the bins – bought in 2012 to help the council meet its recycling targets – should not be rolled out across the region on cost and health and safety grounds.