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Livid - want to cry

I am so livid that I feel like crying, but I know I'm probably over reacting and being overly sensitive.

Had problems with bin men in this city before. In my last house they didn't take the bin several times because it wasn't left on the path. However, lots of old people in wheelchairs in the area and pushchairs, so I left it about 10 inches closer to my door so as not to block the path.

Anyway, it seems it's happening again in new house. It's not been taken twice now for silly reasons. Our mistakes, like the odd food item in the wrong bin. Today they haven't taken it. They have RIPPED open the bag completely, rummaged around inside and found a tiny crust off a slice of bread.

Agreed it shouldn't be in there, but sometimes BF forgets. My main gripe is why the hell can they get away with ripping open my bin? What about privacy? Watchdog warn against identity thieves, but you don't expect to have to protect yourself against local council employees.

They were meant to call me back and haven't. I am so angry and I now have a bin that is full and not been taken :cry:

What can I do? I've emailed my complaint and am going to write to the local paper. Is there anything you can do to protect your privacy?
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They ripped open your rubbish to check up on you? I'm not sure about the law here. It could be using Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act concerning contaminated bins. I'm not really sure but will look into it. Never known anything like it before personally although it obviously happens in some areas. I know about them refusing to empty bins if overflowing but not actually searching through the bins.
Hi Liz
Can't really believe what I am reading. What council do you belong to as I've never known ours to even look in the bin!!

Keep pestering the council, after all liz we all pay council tax and this is paying for our rubbish to be removed - not to be scrutinised.

I have never had that problem, but if I did, I would be screaming at the local council.

Well done on your weightloss. Amazing
Rosie xx


loving life
Sorry to hear your having probs with this Liz. It's a pain in the bum and very frustrating when you can't get any sense from the council. You shouldn't have to be complaining as they should just be doing their job not rumaging through your bin's and being picky. I don't know the lagalities of privacy but surely this is unacceptable and the council should see to it that it doesn't happen again and give you an apology. I hope it gets sorted soon hon. xx
I can totally believe this, last year we put a dirty bean can in with the glass and cans, nowhere on the website or literature say the tins had to be washed, so they rummaged in the recycling and managed to knock a jar out and smash it, I cleared up what I could see but they wouldn't take the box, the next day my little boy run out to wave his daddy off to work and got glass in his foot.... nope not even an apology, and when we told them nowhere did it say we needed to wash them they said we were right and they would update their website accordingly... they seem to have a law to themselves, dont take it to heart, just keep hassling the council until you get some joy... dont let them get to you.
Thanks everyone for replying so quickly. I can't quite believe it either.
If I mess up and put something in the wrong place fair enough, but we all make mistakes. There are so many bins these days it's hard to keep track sometimes. I am big on recycling and frequently make my own trips to the skip! I buy second hand clothes a fair bit and take all my old stuff to the charity shops.

I am not going to just let this go and have taken pics of the rubbish bag ripped open. Thanks Rejectdoll for looking into it. I would really be interested in the legalities here because it just doesn't seem right. People put all sorts of things in their bins and I am sure most would uncomfortable knowing bin men were going through them. Thankfully I never put in confidential information.

Thanks again, needed to hear other people surprised too - it's made me feel better :) x
Thanks Linda, double posted. That's terrible! I'd have been so upset. They do seem to be a law unto themselves definitely. I know it's not a nice job, but they do get paid. Cleaning isn't a nice job either, but I've done it and I made sure I did it well!


Silver Member
It is ridiculous, every year the council tax goes up.......the number of silly rules go up.

Twice our plastic bin has not been emptied and a big contaminated sticker put on the bin..............no idea why? They took it the following fortnight.

It really winds me up ! I hope you can sort this out water girl!
Thanks Charley. Same thing has happened with us!
I'm afraid I can't offer much more than you know and it's not much help to you. Not my area but has opened my eyes!

The authority can give a householder notice that waste must be disposed of in a specified receptacle, and in a specified manner (s.46). It is a crime to fail, without reasonable excuse, to observe such requirements. Councils have the power to impose enforcement notices (s.13.1) but are more likely to do this with persistent offenders and not for an occasional mistake. They do have the power to search your rubbish. (s.60) - As per Environmental Protection Act 1990
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Thanks for that Rejectdoll. Am shocked that they have the power to search rubbish in this day and age with identity theft etc such a prevalent crime.
Not really sure where this leaves me, but I do feel unfairly targetted as pretty sure that none of our neighbours have had their rubbish riffled through.
Appreciate you taking the time to come back with that.
No problem. Wish I could have been more helpful. So far as identity theft is concerned everyone should already be shredding their personal stuff. I tend to just rip off the personal details so I am not shredding a whole letter but just the relevant bit. The rest can be recycled as it is without any clues to my identity on it.

I am surprised by it all too but even more surprised that this Act is from 1990! So for the best part of twenty years the councils have had this power!

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