Bin collection mess sparks Leeds Christmas fear

Leeds bins are still going unemptied six weeks after routes were changed sparking fears that collections will be in chaos come Christmas.

Complaints about the city council's bin service continue to flood into the Yorkshire Evening Post from residents across the city.

Some have still not had their rubbish shifted 45 days after routes were re-organised on October 25, in a move to save 2.4m.

Residents at Oakhurst flats in Headingley brought in a private refuse collector this week as they felt overflowing bins had become a health hazard.

Jane Smart, who owns a flat in the complex, said that a workman had found rats nesting in the rubbish.

Communal bins have also not been emptied at Falkland Court in Chapel Allerton.

Resident Leila Austin, 83, said: "It's been six weeks. It's not healthy. I've seen a fox so God knows what's going on in there (the bin yard).

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"I know there's snow around at the moment but this has being going on for weeks before now."

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Coun Bary Anderson, shadow executive board member for environmental services, said he had no faith that the service will be able to cope with the extra rubbish produced over the festive period.

He said: "Rubbish collection and street cleansing are the two services that affect every household in this city.

"If the council has not managed to get the new routes working by now, then how can we be confident that things will be back to normal in two weeks time?"

He added: "People are running out of space and patience and are going to be tempted to start binning their recyclable waste or to contaminate their recycling by putting general rubbish into their green bins. Bin

collections are still in complete chaos."

Ron Wiener, 68, of Gledhow, got his bins emptied yesterday after waiting six weeks.

Rachel Butler, 34, in Woodhouse, and Stephen Hall, 73, in Whinmoor, said it took binmen five weeks to get round to collecting their rubbish.

A Leeds City Council spokesman apologised for missed collections but reminded residents that the shake-up of household waste collection was the largest change to refuse services in 20 years.

Households where collections have been missed on more than one occasion are being prioritised, he said.

Snow and ice have caused extra problems, the spokesman added.