ANGRY neighbours have been left down in the dumps after forking out for wheely bins that dustbin men are not allowed to empty.

Nicola Litman, 49, of St Mary’s Road, Benfleet, spent £150 on three bins that used to be emptied by Castle Point Council, but now she has been told waste workers cannot empty them due to health and safety reasons.

She and her neighbours invested in the containers to keep the area clean and tidy and to prevent foxes from ripping into rubbish sacks left out for collection.

Although she can remove the sacks easily enough, she does not see why she should have to, but says elderly residents are not as capable and struggle to empty the bins.

She said: “It’s ludicrous, where’s the sense in that? I don’t see the difference between emptying the wheely bins or taking the rubbish from the path.

“We’ve wasted our money and also it’s the litter side of it. Even when you put the sacks out in the morning foxes still rip the bags to shreds and the dustbin men won’t pick the rubbish up that’s been pulled out.”

A Castle Point Council spokeswoman explained that before its new waste service was introduced, residents were surveyed and the majority of replies favoured the use of sacks over wheely bins.

She said: “As the council provides a sack rather than a wheeled bin collection service - other than for trade waste and some communal areas - the collection vehicles we use to collect household waste do not have bin lifts fitted and so we are therefore unable to empty wheeled bins directly into the collection vehicles.

“Retrieving waste from a wheeled bin can be problematic and there are health and safety issues associated with reaching down into deep sided bins to remove waste at the bottom of the bins.

“For this reason, whilst residents can if they so wish store their waste in a bin it is our policy to require that it is removed from the bin when presented for collection.”