CASTLE Point Council has been accused of “racketeering”

after refusing to pick up rubbish unless it is in branded bags.

Binmen working for the Council left bags of garden waste by the side of the road, because it wasn’t in bags they sell themselves.

George Whatley’s daughter bought her garden sacks, which are biodegradable, from a Canvey supermarket, because they were cheaper than the branded bags the council have.

But binmen from the council told her they were only allowed to pick up official council ones.

Mr Whatley, of Limburg Road, Canvey, is demanding the authority changes the policy.

He said: “The Castle Point Council green waste sacks cost £3.30 a roll.

“You can go and buy them elsewhere and they’re much cheaper.

“But they just won’t take them away.

“I rang them up and demanded answers, but they just kept saying it’s their policy. It’s racketeering.”

In the end, Mr Whatley’s daughter Tracy, of Labworth Road, Canvey, had to take her garden waste down to the tip – which would also not accept them in the sacks.

She had to rip them open to empty the contents.

For £3.30, Castle Point residents get 20 bin sacks, which are made of corn starch and degrade properly.

But Mr Whatley said he and other residents were able to buy them cheaper elsewhere.

Initially, a Castle Point Council spokesman said the council’s facilities could only handle bags made from corn starch and that was why the rules were put in place.

The council said it would be reviewing the policy.

She said: “We only accept waste in corn starch sacks as these are compostable and decompose quickly.

“Sacks sold as biodegradable take much longer to break down and our treatment facility will not accept them.

“Just because some bags say ‘degradable’ and ‘biodegradable’ does not mean they are compostable.

“At the time we introduced the service, corn starch bags were not widely available so for simplicity we asked residents to use the sacks from our supplier.

However, we are looking into the requirement to use the council sacks as corn starch sacks are nowmore widely available.”