Last week’s public sector strike was a load of rubbish for many Huddersfield homes.
That’s what 40,000 Kirklees households have been left with after the one-day strike last Thursday when their bins were due to have been emptied.
Around half of those were grey bins containing general household rubbish.
Council officials have said that they have no contingency plans and it will be a week on Thursday before the rubbish is carted away – making it a month since they were last emptied.
Meanwhile pavements all around Huddersfield – as well as the Holme and Colne Valleys – are littered with grey bins and black bags which are now starting to smell and pose a potential health hazard.
Michael Hill, 70, of Waingate, Linthwaite, has contacted his local councillor David Ridgway and Kirklees Council. Both have told him that residents will have to wait almost another two weeks before their bins are emptied.
He said: “It is disgusting, particularly with the government keen to get local councils to revert to once-weekly collections because of the health hazards and some areas around the country becoming infested with rats. They think these new super rats are due to all the rubbish being left on the streets.
“The bins are lined up on the streets, they overflowing and smelling now. In another two weeks it will be even worse. It is a health hazard, particularly in this hot weather.
“When I rang Kirklees, their officer suggested I bag my rubbish and take it to the tip in my own vehicle. I asked him if they would be paying for my petrol and time and he said no.
“The council have said they have no contingency plans to deal with the backlog. Can’t they cancel the green bin collection this week and concentrate on the waste? That would make more sense.”
Another resident advised to empty his bins himself is Alex Lloyd, 38, of Oakes Road South, Oakes.
He said: The bins are all out on the pavement in the hottest period we have had for years. There are blowflies around them and they stink, it is absolutely disgusting.
“I accept people’s right to strike, but the council should make this a priority and deal with it. The council told me to take the rubbish down to the tip myself, but who will pay to hire a van to put the bins in?
“My concern is that this could lead to a health scare or unknown virus. In this day and age we should not have to live with this. We pay our council tax and expect a service – they should make people work on a Sunday.”
Clr David Ridgway, Colne Valley Lib Dem, said it was "outrageous" that households were expected to keep smelly waste for four weeks: "Why they didn't use some common sense and swap this week's green collection for the grey bin it beyond me.
"I don't see the logic of it at all, green waste is clean so can be kept for longer than grey bin waste which is smell and dirty.
"It's almost as if the council and the Cabinet are saying 'we don't care' but they should care.
"David Sheard may not have young children in nappies, but a lot of our households do and the grey bins will rapidly fill up with all that babies create and it will smell and that is not acceptable."
Clr Ridgway has received many complaints and said his discussions with council officers had not provoked a positive response, but he added:
"I was told that if people double-bag waste they will send a van out to collect it, how is that cost-effective?
"The unions are absolutely right to campaign for their members, but this is a bad do. Perhaps we should take our bins to the union headquarters and leave them there."
Clr David Sheard, council leader, wrote on Twitter that "savings Kirklees make as a result of the strike action, should be used to replace some of money cut from welfare fund by govt".
In reply to residents complaints he wrote of "pathetic individuals compare their slight inconvenience with those who rely on food banks".
Afftected areas in Huddersfield are Marsden, Linthwaite, Bolster Moor, Golcar, Longwood, Salendine Nook, Oakes, Lindley, Marsh, Crosland Moor, Beaumont Park, Lockwood, Netherton, Honley, New Mill, Wooldale, Scholes, Hepworth, Birds Edge, High Flatts, Upper and Lower Denby, Denby Dale, Emley, Flockton, Lepton, Almondbury, Fartown, Fixby, Ferndale, Sheepridge and Mirfield.
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