‘Put your poo in with the rubbish’: health concerns over waste collection changes

Wheelie bin stock pic
Wheelie bin stock pic

Health fears have been raised after council bosses announced they are scrapping specialised collections of human waste and told householders to put it in their normal rubbish bins for fortnightly pick-ups.

Adult human waste and incontinence pads were previously put in specially-marked thick yellow bags before being collected and incinerated.

Now Dacorum Borough Council has told residents to ‘double wrap’ the waste in normal plastic bags or carrier bags and leave them in their household waste wheelie bins or black sack.

Christine Fincham, of Grovehill, whose 40-year-old son is incontinent, said: “I think it is a health and safety risk for the guys that collect the waste.

“It is going to smell terrible after two weeks.

“I feel we are going back to the third world.”

Her son, who has a learning and physical disability and lives alone with the help of carers, had a shed specially built outside his home where he stores the waste matter until it is collected.

Christine worries that the changes will also impact on neighbours: “I don’t want his bin to smell and people to walk past that,” she said.

“The bags could split and it could go everywhere. It is just horrible the thought of it.”

The change comes into force from this week but Christine is refusing to put the waste into the normal bin and is seeking out a private company to dispose of it.

“I’m not going to put people at risk,” she said.

The changes to collections will affect all those suffering from incontinence including those with disabilities, the sick and some elderly people.”

A spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council said: “The waste that can now be placed in the residual waste stream (general waste wheeled bin) is hygiene waste such as adult incontinence pads.

“These changes have been made to bring the collection of these waste types in line with similar wastes such as nappies that have always been collected via the residual waste stream.

“It is considered safe for householders to dispose of their own hygiene waste, such as nappies, incontinence pads and dressings via their residual waste collection service - i.e. not via any recycling containers.”

They added: “Residents are asked to, wherever possible, wrap their waste before placing it in the grey wheeled bin, this should help eliminate odours.

“Placing this waste in the wheeled bin will reduce the manual handling of hygiene waste sacks by waste collection staff.

“Collecting this waste with other household waste will reduce the cost of waste collection and disposal.

“To discuss this further residents can contact Dacorum Borough Council on 01442 228000 and ask for Environmental Health.”