A PENSIONER has condemned health and safety rules banning binmen from collecting his rubbish...because it was left on top of a wheelie bin.

George Whatley, 72, of Limburg Road, Canvey, was left scratching his head when officers from Castle Point Council said workers could not collect black bags from on top of his bin as they were too high off the ground.

Despite the bin standing a mere 3ft off the ground, council staff said health and safety rules forced them to ignore the bags.

However, Mr Whatley said he received the same response when the bins were placed inside the wheelie bin, which he bought to protect his rubbish from animals.

He said: “It’s health and safety gone mad. When I put the bags on top of the bin they refused to collect them, as they were too high and it would be against health and safety.

“I’m a pensioner with a heart condition and I have no problem doing it – it’s only a metre tall.

“The council has also told me binmen can’t reach inside my wheelie bin to collect my rubbish because it’s too dangerous.

“How can a plastic wheelie bin be too dangerous? The decision is absolutely bizarre.”

The council runs a fortnightly black bag collection, but does not provide homeowners with wheelie bins.

Mr Whatley splashed out on his own bin after foxes ripped open black bags, leaving a trail of rubbish on his front lawn.

He hoped his common sense actions would help the binmen, and keep his neighbourhood looking tidy.

He added: “I thought it would be a sensible option, as I did not want to have bags piling up inside my house or in my garden for a fortnight.

“I just never thought it would cause all this fuss.

“I’ve got no problem with the binmen themselves, as they do a brilliant job and I have every respect for them.

“However, I’m just fed up of all this bureaucracy by council officers who have probably never collected a bin bag in their life.

“It gets to the point where you wonder what you pay your rates for?

“It will come to the point where I will have to start throwing the bags into the bin van myself because health and safety will claim binmen can’t.”

A Castle Point Council spokesman said: “What a great shame Mr Whatley did not mention he contacted the council when his black sack was not collected.

“He was reminded of the arrangements for rubbish collection and, on this occasion, the collectors returned and picked up his rubbish.

“In Castle Point, householders are asked to leave their black sacks on the kerbside for collection. The majority of households manage to present their rubbish correctly.

“Separate arrangements can be made, on application to the council, for residents who are unable to do this, for example due to disability or through illness.”