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Father And Binmen Face Off When They Refuse To Take Recycling Over 'Contaminated' Items

Father And Binmen Face Off When They Refuse To Take Recycling Over 'Contaminated' Items

A man blocked a bin lorry in the street in a tense 30-minute stand-off in Bolton, Lancashire - after being told his recycling bin could not be emptied because it contained 'contaminated' items such as an empty Pot Noodle tub.

Robert Watts, 44, claims when his wife Linzie, 29, offered to remove it, bin men still refused as the bin would now be 'contaminated'.

Robert Watts and his family. Credit: SWNS
Robert Watts and his family. Credit: SWNS

The father-of-two was left furious, saying his bin had not been emptied for weeks.

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During the row, which lasted for half an hour, he demanded to know the bin men's details so he could put an official complaint in to the council.

But when they refused to give him the information, he parked his Hyundai in the street so the wagon could not leave.

Robert wouldn't let the bin wagon leave the street. Credit: SWNS
Robert wouldn't let the bin wagon leave the street. Credit: SWNS

Robert said: "He would not show me his ID so I drove around before they left the street. I then asked him again for his ID and he said, 'Back up or I'm calling the police.'

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"After 30 minutes he finally shown me his ID but very quickly, I caught it on camera as I had my phone ready."

Robert said his main issue with the confrontation was the way his wife, with whom he runs a coffee shop, was spoken to.

He explained: "Our bins are usually collected bi-weekly but they changed it to monthly which is understandable. The council have closed off all the public bins to also make the workload lighter.

"They missed half the bins in the street and when Linzie asked him why, he opened it and said it was contaminated. He pointed to a Pot Noodle and half an egg shell that fell in. No glass at all.

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"When she said she didn't understand, he said, 'Read my lips.' He was not two metres away either when he did this. It was the wrong thing to do really, but I was annoyed."

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This is what Mr Watts claims was in the bin. Credit: SWNS
This is what Mr Watts claims was in the bin. Credit: SWNS

Robert, who has lived in the street for four years, said neighbours poured out to see what was causing the commotion, which caused him some concern - he feared they might get the impression that his bin was dangerous as they were told it had been contaminated.

He added: "Are they scared it has got coronavirus in it or something, because I could hear the bin men saying it was contaminated? With what's going on, you say the word 'contaminated' and you think, 'Oh my God.'"

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After the incident on Tuesday, another collection lorry returned to the street on Wednesday and emptied the couple's bin.

But Robert, who lives with wife Linzie, son Jacob, seven, and daughter Amelia, two, called for bin men to be more tolerant if people put the wrong rubbish in the wrong receptacle.

He added: "I have Googled in and it says a Pot Noodle is a completely recyclable item, but they wouldn't accept it. I don't actually like them, that what's annoying as well - it's my kids that eat them."

A council spokesperson said it wasn't just a pot noodle tub that the bin contained. Credit: SWNS
A council spokesperson said it wasn't just a pot noodle tub that the bin contained. Credit: SWNS
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A council spokesperson said: "This was an unfortunate incident which our crew were subjected to ­- and it was not because of one Pot Noodle container.

"Mr Watts' burgundy bin actually contained lots of items that shouldn't have been in there ­- plastic pots, tubs, trays, a pane of window glass and food waste. A crew member explained to Mr Watts why we could not empty the bin.

"He also offered that if the resident removed the non-recyclable waste and brought the bin back to them, they would empty it as they would be in the street for a while.

"Later in the afternoon the resident pulled up in his car, blocking the bin wagon from going down the street. The crew were left with no option but to contact the police to resolve the issue.

"The vast majority of our residents recycle correctly and we understand it is frustrating when bins cannot be emptied.

"However, every load of waste that is contaminated costs council taxpayers and this resident's actions delayed other bins from being emptied.

"This is unacceptable, particularly at a time when our bin crews are working incredibly hard in very challenging circumstances."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: uk news

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Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]