Refuse staff working day and night to clear Brighton's rubbish

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides


Refuse staff are working day and night to clean up Brighton's streets following two weeks of industrial action over working conditions.

An agreement was reached between Brighton and Hove City Council and the GMB Union on Wednesday (October 20), but the two week strike has led to rubbish piling up across the city.

Cityclean crews have been working daily to remove the piles of waste which accumulated during the strike.

Rubbish in the streets before the strike action ended Credit: Brighton & Hove City Council

The council also says staff have been working to clear up as much as they can from hard-to-reach areas they cannot get to during the day.

There are also additional crews removing the waste that has piled up around communal bins, while the usual day-to-day service is up and running again.

The council says it is all part of the non-stop drive to get the city back to normal now the industrial action has ended.

One street after crews worked to clear the rubbish which was spilling over the bins Credit: Brighton & Hove City Council

However, it says the scale of the operation is a massive one as the very large piles of waste that have built up around communal bins and recycling ‘bring sites’ take about one hour to clear. 

The council says there is a two week backlog which means it will take a minimum of two weeks to remove.

Despite that, in one week the crews picked up almost 500 tonnes more than they would normally collect. An average daily collection totals 209 tonnes.

In some areas of the city rubbish is still piled high Credit: ITV News Meridian

The council says it realises how frustrating it is to see the "beautiful city" with so much rubbish on the streets, and it wants to thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding during these times.