Bin collections missed because council’s 'enormous' new wagons too wide to fit down streets, refuse crews tell residents

Bin collections in Huddersfield are being missed because new bin wagons are too wide to access narrow back streets.

Bins on a Huddersfield street

That’s what elderly people are being told by bin crews after complaining that fortnightly collections have not been carried out.

Now they have asked Kirklees Council to keep them informed of changes – and not to dump recyclable materials alongside household waste in the same wagon.

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They have described it as “a secondhand service”.

Kirklees Council revealed in 2018 that it was to spend £4m upgrading its fleet to include street sweepers, vans and gully vehicles as well as two 26-tonne refuse wagons costing £280,000.

The authority said parked cars were to blame and that scheduled collection days remained unchanged.

One man, who has lived near Greenhead Park for 20 years, said addresses in Mountjoy Road and around Trinity Street and Back Trinity Street had been affected including families with children, students and older people.

He said “enormous” new refuse wagons could not fit down back streets where bins have traditionally been presented for collection. Rounds have been missed and then replaced on different days using older, smaller wagons.

“Bin collections were patchy with the old trucks but they’ve got worse in recent weeks,” said one 72-year-old man, who asked not to be named.

“It’s got particularly bad recently. We have raised it with the council and with local councillors, who gave a fairly vague response.

“The gist was that the pandemic has added to the problems. There was never a mention of the new trucks.”

He added: “Our neighbours across the road get a proper service. We haven’t even been told about our situation. It’s frustrating.

“The council has this philosophy about place-based working, but that’s not our experience. It’s not good.

“Why are we getting a secondhand service?

“We were talking to the bin crew and they told us it was down to the new trucks [being too wide]. They said there were routes they couldn’t go down.

“They said certain routes have been taken off them to be covered by a smaller truck – but we haven’t had any information. We reported it and didn’t get an answer.”

The authority’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Clr Naheed Mather, said: “The council is aware of the missed collections on Mountjoy Road, which are due to access issues caused by parked cars at the mouth of the access route, impacting the turning circle of the vehicle.

“Mountjoy Road has previously been identified as a road which requires a smaller waste collection vehicle and as such this is the vehicle used to carry out collections.

“Changes have not been made to scheduled collection days on this road.

“Where vehicles are unable to access the road, replacement collections are scheduled usually before the end of the week where possible.

“As this was an extenuating circumstance, a decision to collect green and grey bins together was made to allow crews to clear all the waste for residents – this is not standard practice or a decision that is taken lightly by managers with consideration being given to public health.

“We ask all residents wherever they park their vehicles to consider access for other road users as well as bin wagons and emergency service vehicles.”