1. ITV Report

Council seizes hundreds of wheelie bins after they were left outside for too long

Hundreds of wheelie bins have been confiscated in Stoke-on-Trent Credit: BPM Media

Hundreds of wheelie bins have been confiscated from outside people's homes by a council - after being left outside too long.

Action has been taken by thirty-eight streets in Fenton, Hanley and Codbridge.

More than 200 wheelie bins were seized during two days of action earlier this month.

Now families whose bins have been removed must call the council to get them back.

Existing rules mean residents must put their rubbish out the day before collection and then collect their bin by the end of the collection day.

Council bosses wrote to residents in the 38 streets to warn them that their bins would be seized.

"During a recent walkabout it was noted that there are a large amount of abandoned wheelie bins being left in alleyways. This is adding to the existing issues such as litter and fly-tipping.

"Everyone has a responsibility to ensure their waste is being disposed of correctly. Please ensure that your bin is retrieved from the collection point/alleyway after collection as it may be removed."

– Letter from Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Rubbish has built up after bins were confiscated Credit: BPM Media

Jeff Cooke, who is 65, lives on Carron Street in Fenton and supports the councils crackdown.

This is a brilliant idea. We’ve been fighting this problem for years now and the residents have had letter after letter but nothing changed. Everyone I have spoken to has said it’s made a big difference. There’s always going to be some backlash but the streets look 100 per cent better now. I just hope the council’s environmental team keep on top of it so we don’t end up in the same situation.

– Jeff Cooke, resident

But other residents have criticised the action after residents whose bins have been seized put out black bags instead.

Seeing all the rubbish everywhere I feel like I have to go and pick it up. I saw a fox sniffing around it the other day. There’s rubbish everywhere now and I’m picking it up.

Taking the bins away has just made everything worse. I’d rather have the bins in the street because taking them away is causing rubbish in the street, there’s glass everywhere and it will attract rats.

– Linda Beasley, resident
Rubbish that has been left in Denbigh street Credit: BPM Media

We’ve received numerous complaints about bins being left out in Fenton, Cobridge and Hanley.

At the start of the month we committed a huge amount of resources into two action days in both areas, which saw a deep clean and tidy up. Abandoned bins were also taken away. These are all things that residents had complained to us about. Prior to this, we had delivered letters to every house, which made it clear bins would be taken away if they were left out.

It’s unfortunate, when the solution was so simple, that we had to take this action but faced with an ongoing problem – and the impact it was having on responsible households in the communities – we were left with no other option.

– Councillor Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing