Leeds: Bin that’s not been emptied - for a year!

Craig Timmins.
Craig Timmins.
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An engineering boss has not had his home garden waste bin emptied for 12 MONTHS after “over-zealous staff” said he had contaminated it with too much soil.

Craige Timmins, who lives in Garforth, was told he had broken the rules and must clean out the brown wheelie bin or have it confiscated after he complained to Leeds City Council last May that binmen were refusing to empty it.

The 30-year-old maintains the only soil he had ever thrown in there was attached to the weeds he had pulled from his back garden.

Brown bins are used to collect grass cuttings, hedge clippings, leaves, dead house and bedding plants, windfall fruit, weeds, twigs and small branches for composting.

Mr Timmins, who reported the situation to the Local Government Ombudsman, thought that he had finally scored a victory when in December he received a letter from the City Council apologising for “over-zealous” staff.

He was told that his fortnightly garden waste collection would be reinstated.

Four months on and the now part-composted contested contents – which for an entire year have remained in the brown wheelie bin at the bottom of Mr Timmins’ drive – have still not been collected.

He said: “I want the brown bin service back to what it should be, and get what I pay for through my rates.

“The Ombudsman suggested that what I have taken to the tip over the years has been at my own cost, and in my own time, and I might want to get compensation for that. But this is now just about the principal of the matter.”

He added: “One letter said that I had to take what was in [the brown bin] out or they would take my bin off me.

“It was worded very cleverly so it didn’t appear threatening, but it was.

“They basically said if I keep breaking the rules they will take the bin away. But it turns out that they were being pedantic over the amount of soil on the weeds’ root balls.”

A Leeds City Council spokesman apologised again, said that they were “keen” for residents to compost and that Mr Timmins’s brown bin would be emptied by the end of the week.

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