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Strike action in Birmingham leaves rubbish left over from Christmas piled high in the streets

Bins are overflowing and litter is rotting on the streets of Birmingham after more refuse collectors voted to take industrial action alongside their binmen colleagues, leaving rubbish left over from Christmas piled high on city pavements.

Around 30 members of the union Unison will join the strike after voting unanimously to back their Unite Union workmates, who downed tools weeks ago amid a dispute over legal payments.

Photos taken in the city show the rubbish left over from the festive season fouling the residential area after union and council bosses were unable to break the deadlock, as some locals claim they’ve had no collection for seven weeks.

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Foul stench: Bins are overflowing and litter is rotting on the streets of Birmingham after more refuse collectors voted to take industrial action alongside their binmen colleagues, leaving rubbish left over from Christmas piled high on pavements. Torn bin bags have been attracting rats, cats and foxes while the union workers refuses to remove rubbish leaving a foul stench

Foul stench: Bins are overflowing and litter is rotting on the streets of Birmingham after more refuse collectors voted to take industrial action alongside their binmen colleagues, leaving rubbish left over from Christmas piled high on pavements. Torn bin bags have been attracting rats, cats and foxes while the union workers refuses to remove rubbish leaving a foul stench

Christmas rubbish: Around 30 members of the union Unison will start a work to rule and overtime ban after voting unanimously to come out in solidarity with their Unite workmates, who downed tools weeks ago amid a dispute over legal payments. Christmas leftovers litter the streets and bins are filled to the brim leading to a wall of rubbish on pavements

Christmas rubbish: Around 30 members of the union Unison will start a work to rule and overtime ban after voting unanimously to come out in solidarity with their Unite workmates, who downed tools weeks ago amid a dispute over legal payments. Christmas leftovers litter the streets and bins are filled to the brim leading to a wall of rubbish on pavements

Photos taken in the city show the rubbish left over from the festive season fouling the residential area after union and council bosses were unable to break the deadlock, as locals claim they've had no collection for seven weeks

Photos taken in the city show the rubbish left over from the festive season fouling the residential area after union and council bosses were unable to break the deadlock, as locals claim they’ve had no collection for seven weeks

Bin bags and rubbish piling up outside homes on Cotterills Lane in Alum Rock, Birmingham

Bin bags and rubbish piling up outside homes on Cotterills Lane in Alum Rock, Birmingham

Members of the Unite Union, who make up more than 300 of the city’s bins workforce, are demanding parity with the much smaller group of GMB-affiliated bin workers over a payment made to them to resolve a legal dispute.   

Unite says rival GMB members were given individual payments of around £4,000 at the end of that strike as a ‘reward’ for them for not taking part. 

Last ditch talks failed to avert the dispute between members of Unite and Birmingham City Council on December 29, so a string of disruptive measures were implemented.

Now members of the smaller union have come out in solitary with Unite, plunging the city into more rubbish chaos with residents suggesting rats and foxes have been drawn to the area for an easy meal.

Last ditch talks failed to avert the dispute between members of Unite and Birmingham City Council on December 29, so a string of disruptive measures were implemented. Now members of the smaller union have come out in solitary with Unite, plunging the city into more rubbish chaos with rats, similar to those pictured here, drawn to the area for an easy meal 

Last ditch talks failed to avert the dispute between members of Unite and Birmingham City Council on December 29, so a string of disruptive measures were implemented. Now members of the smaller union have come out in solitary with Unite, plunging the city into more rubbish chaos with rats, similar to those pictured here, drawn to the area for an easy meal 

Members of the Unite Union, who make up more than 300 of the city's bins workforce, are demanding parity with the much smaller group of GMB-affiliated bin workers over a payment made to them to resolve a legal dispute

Members of the Unite Union, who make up more than 300 of the city’s bins workforce, are demanding parity with the much smaller group of GMB-affiliated bin workers over a payment made to them to resolve a legal dispute

Last ditch talks failed to avert the dispute between members of Unite and Birmingham City Council on December 29, so a string of disruptive measures were implemented

Last ditch talks failed to avert the dispute between members of Unite and Birmingham City Council on December 29, so a string of disruptive measures were implemented

As the strike began last year, resident Lisa Cartwright, who lives in the Moseley area of the city said she has not had her bins collection for seven weeks at her block of 12 flats.

She said: ‘Our collections have never gone back to normal since the strike action. Our bins have not been emptied for at least seven weeks. 

‘For some strange reasons rubbish is collected from the other side of the road, which beggars belief.’ 

Now members of the smaller union have come out in solitary with Unite, plunging the city into more rubbish chaos

Now members of the smaller union have come out in solitary with Unite, plunging the city into more rubbish chaos

As the strike began last year, resident Lisa Cartwright, who lives in the Moseley area of the city said she has not had her bins collection for seven weeks at her block of 12 flats. She said: 'Our collections have never gone back to normal since the strike action. Our bins have not been emptied for at least seven weeks'

As the strike began last year, resident Lisa Cartwright, who lives in the Moseley area of the city said she has not had her bins collection for seven weeks at her block of 12 flats. She said: ‘Our collections have never gone back to normal since the strike action. Our bins have not been emptied for at least seven weeks’

Birmingham is bracing itself for more bin chaos after workers voted to take industrial action - triggering the prospect of even more rubbish piling up across the city

Birmingham is bracing itself for more bin chaos after workers voted to take industrial action – triggering the prospect of even more rubbish piling up across the city

 

Strike action among binmen in the city is not new. In September 2017 bin workers finally suspended strike action which had taken place due to a dispute with the council over job losses

Strike action among binmen in the city is not new. In September 2017 bin workers finally suspended strike action which had taken place due to a dispute with the council over job losses

A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said at the time: ‘We are looking for any reports of missed collections from this particular address, but we will make arrangements for a collection to be made as soon as possible.

‘Following the move to new routes and five-day working, our crews continue to build local knowledge to ensure the most efficient routes are used – however there are still some problems and we are trying to resolve any outstanding issues.

‘Please accept our apologies if your bins are missed.’

Strike action among binmen in the city is not new. In September 2017 bin workers finally suspended strike action which had taken place due to a dispute with the council over job losses.

 

Fly-tippers leave UK streets a disgusting mess as crackdown brings new fines 

Shocking photos reveal the revolting state of Britain’s streets thanks to fly-tippers illegally dumping rubbish, costing the tax pays millions.

Images taken from across the UK show the growing piles of waste, from broken down white goods, old electronic equipment, soiled mattresses and industrial waste, all dumped by fly-tippers who apparently couldn’t be bothered to dispose of it responsibly.  

Local authorities spent more than £57million in a year clean up messes left behind by offenders, and the government is trying to help them with new fines to crack down on fly-tipping.

Shocking photos reveal the revolting state of Britain's streets thanks to fly-tippers illegally dumping rubbish, costing the tax pays millions

Shocking photos reveal the revolting state of Britain’s streets thanks to fly-tippers illegally dumping rubbish, costing the tax pays millions

Images taken from across the UK show the growing piles of waste, from broken down white goods, old electronic equipment, soiled mattresses and industrial waste, all dumped by fly-tippers who apparently couldn't be bothered to dispose of it responsibly

Images taken from across the UK show the growing piles of waste, from broken down white goods, old electronic equipment, soiled mattresses and industrial waste, all dumped by fly-tippers who apparently couldn’t be bothered to dispose of it responsibly

Local authorities spent more than £57million in a year clean up messes left behind by offenders, and the government is trying to help them with new fines to crack down on fly-tipping

Local authorities spent more than £57million in a year clean up messes left behind by offenders, and the government is trying to help them with new fines to crack down on fly-tipping

 

Coventry residents now face being hit with £400 fines if their waste is found fly-tipped – even if they didn’t dump it.

As of Monday January 7, new government legislation has come into into force giving councils extra powers to crack down on fly-tipping.

It means householders now have a legal ‘duty of care’ to ensure they only give their waste to a licensed carrier.

Any householder who fails to pass their waste to a licensed carrier, and whose waste is found fly-tipped, could now face penalties of up to £400.

The new on-the-spot penalties will make it easier for councils to tackle fly-tipping and provide an alternative to the previous method of putting cases through the courts, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

As of Monday January 7, new government legislation has come into into force giving councils extra powers to crack down on fly-tipping. It means householders now have a legal 'duty of care' to ensure they only give their waste to a licensed carrier

Any householder who fails to pass their waste to a licensed carrier, and whose waste is found fly-tipped, could now face penalties of up to £400. The new on-the-spot penalties will make it easier for councils to tackle fly-tipping and provide an alternative to the previous method of putting cases through the courts, which can be a lengthy and costly process

Craig Hickin, head of environmental services at Coventry City Council, said: ‘We are very interested in the new powers and seeing how they can be used to help us deal with the issue of fly-tipping.

‘Until now, we have only had powers enabling us to make businesses accountable by making them prove how they dispose of their waste legally. Now these new powers will make that apply to everyone.

‘People will now have a ‘duty of care’ to ensure that waste is disposed of properly and within the law.

‘Like businesses, if their waste ends up being fly-tipped, then they will need to prove to us that they used authorised waste contractors.

Councils have been issued guidance from the government on how to use their new powers proportionately, which makes clear penalties should not be used as a means of raising money and should not be issued for minor breaches

Councils have been issued guidance from the government on how to use their new powers proportionately, which makes clear penalties should not be used as a means of raising money and should not be issued for minor breaches

‘If they are unable to do this to our satisfaction, then they will receive a fixed penalty, or prosecution for not exercising this duty of care.

‘We will soon be making sure that everyone is aware of these new responsibilities through a publicity campaign so residents will know how to avoid falling foul of the new law.’

Fly-tipping has been an increasing problem in Coventry – rising from 3,342 incidents in 2016/17 to 4,704 in 2017/18 at the last count in November.

The cost of clearing up the mess is no longer recorded, but in 2016/17 it is estimated that litter louts cost Coventry council more than £119,646.

Councils have been issued guidance from the government on how to use their new powers proportionately, which makes clear penalties should not be used as a means of raising money and should not be issued for minor breaches.

This guidance also says that local authorities should consider whether the householder is a vulnerable person, for instance due to age related ill-health or a mental or physical disability.

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