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I've bin waiting...

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 25 August 2010

BROWNED OFF: Geoff Barrett has to put up with paper sacks while he waits for a brown bin.

BROWNED OFF: Geoff Barrett has to put up with paper sacks while he waits for a brown bin.

HUNDREDS of residents say it s rubbish that they have been waiting for their bins to be replaced for months.

HUNDREDS of residents say it's rubbish that they have been waiting for their bins to be replaced for months.

Geoff Barrett, 60, of Park Crescent, Erith, contacted the Times after waiting FIVE months for a replacement brown bin to put his smelly food waste in.

Bexley council offices admit to a bin waiting list of 800 residents that stretches back to October, but blames a European shortage of bins triggered by new recycling laws in Germany last summer.

Mr Barrett said: "It's a very annoying problem but council officers just try to palm me off. I first told them about this in November and they told me I'd have to wait two months, in January they said two weeks.

"Now they say they don't know when the new bins will come because they've switched to a German supplier. The last time I called they laughed down the phone and hung up on me. They seem to think people are just sheep who will give up eventually."

For five of the last six years Bexley council came top in London after recycling 40 per cent of its rubbish. Residents are expected to use five bins for the council's weekly collection of recyclable waste and fortnightly collection of non-recyclable waste.

But binless Mr Barrett has given up recycling his food and garden waste since being told by council officers to make do with paper bags. He said: "The bags fall to pieces as soon as it rains. If the council bosses think I'm going to sit pretty and let vermin start crawling up to the back door they've got another thing coming."

With almost 1,000 residents waiting for bins, Steve Haywood, director of Envirosafe Pest Control, in Orpington, said rats would have an easy time accessing unprotected food.

He said: "Rats are on the increase and a lot of that is due to people leaving their rubbish unprotected. Rats and foxes will rip through any type of bag easily and they're most interested in finding food debris. It's madness to make people leave their rubbish outside in bags."

A Bexley council spokesman said: "Our supplier expects to be able to deliver the brown bins to us by mid-April. In the meantime we are able to provide free paper sacks to households still waiting for one. We encourage residents with larger gardens to home compost."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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