Jobsworth council chiefs have banned binmen from emptying pensioners’ rubbish – because the three steps they must walk up are a health and safety risk.
Refuse workers no longer touch the wheelie-bins at the housing association flats in Wellingborough, Northants., because the steps are too steep.
It means elderly residents – many disabled and in their 90s – have to drag their own bins down the steps and across to the collection point which is 50 yards away.
Residents have also been given the option of keeping the bins in one place and emptying their rubbish into them when necessary.
Despite having picked up the bins from outside the residents’ doors and emptying them for more than 30 years, Wellingborough Council decided to halt the pickups in September.
Resident John Poulten, 70, said because of the council’s “bizarre” decision bins have been left unemptied for the last month.
He said: “The bins have not been emptied for four weeks because they say the stairs are dangerous. It’s bizarre.
“I have lived here for four years and I have neighbours who have been here for 10 years, and since they have been using wheelie bins the binmen have always come in to get them.
“There are older people who would not be able to carry the wheelie bins down the steps – I can’t carry them up and down.”
Another elderly resident Morris Stanley, 91, added: “They have been coming her for 30 years no problem at all.
“One old lady is 93 and almost completely blind and they expect her to drag the bins down the steps and out to the courtyard – it’s ridiculous.
“There’s only three steps they have to negotiate – but all of a sudden they are too dangerous.
“But apparently they are fine for us to try and climb down.
“What a bunch of jobsworths.”
Wellingborough Council yesterday defended the ruling.
A spokesman said: “It was decided earlier in the year that moving the bins down the steep steps was not a suitable arrangement.
“Employees at Wellingborough Norse, the company which carries out refuse collections on behalf of the council, wrote to residents in September to let them know that alternative collections points at the front and the side of the flats had been agreed.
“It seemed that once the bins were emptied, residents moved them back to the inaccessible position at the rear of the flats and they were unable to be emptied on the next collection date.
“If the bins remain in the collection places at the front and side of the flats, regular collections will be resumed.
“We cannot expect our refuse teams to carry the bins up and down the steep steps at the rear of the flats, nor would we expect residents to do that.
“The new collection points are accessible. All they have to do is leave them there.”
A spokesman for Wellingborough Homes – which owns and runs the flats – added: “We are concerned about the situation and have been working hard to solve the problem.”