Sheffield bins left for 19 days

Safety issue: Bins unemptied due to the cold weather
Safety issue: Bins unemptied due to the cold weather
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TENS of thousands of Sheffield households have still not had their bins collected after snow disrupted services last week.

Veolia, the waste contractor for Sheffield Council, said it was putting on extra crews and ‘working very hard’ to clear a backlog of up to 60,000 outstanding waste and recycling collections - which could take until the end of this week.

The contractor said disruption had been caused because prolonged snow and ice ‘prevented safe access’ to roads, side streets or pavements - and apologised to householders.

But dozens of city residents complained to The Star of rubbish overflowing from packed bins, and larger families said they are struggling to cope.

Train driver Craig Howarth, aged 50, of Eastbank Road, Arbourthorne, said his bins hadn’t been emptied now for three weeks.

“Because of high winds bags have been blown about and they’ve burst and now there is rubbish all over the street,” he said. “It’s a hygiene issue.”

Mum Amy Starkes added: “I went 19 days without collections being done and we are a family of five. It’s not good when you’ve got dirty nappies.”

Donna Eyre said: “In S2 bins haven’t been touched for nearly two weeks - the rats will be having a field day. It’s disgusting.”

But a council source said the service had ‘coped remarkably well’ given Sheffield’s hilly geography, with the majority of people still receiving collections - and added safety had to be paramount.

“Bin lorries cost £150,000 each, weigh 22 tonnes, and contain up to ten tonnes of rubbish,” the source said.

“If one loses control on an icy road there’s a huge risk to the safety of pedestrians and potential damage to vehicles.

“One has to weigh up the safety implications.”

Collections were scheduled for last weekend but Saturday’s service was suspended after more snow fell on Friday. Some collections did take place on Sunday.

A Veolia spokesman said: “Waste and recycling collections were disrupted throughout last week due to the prolonged snow and ice on roads, side streets and pavements, which prevented safe access.

“All collections due this week are taking place as normal and we have extra crews and vehicles out completing the 60,000 outstanding collections that were carried over from last week.

“Every day in Sheffield around 45,000 new bins are put out for collection by residents and we are working very hard to catch up.

“Residents are asked to leave their containers out until we have emptied them, which may take until the end of this week.

“We are working as quickly as we can and we will get to everyone as soon as possible.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank residents for their patience while we complete outstanding collections.”