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No closed lid, no bin collection, say local authorities

Health and safety concerns are driving local authorities in England and Wales not to empty householders bins if lids are not shut properly. A survey conducted by The Times found that a third of councils in England and Wales would not provide a bin collection to those who let their bins overflow. Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff and Brighton and Hove were among the councils that require lids to be fully closed. A Liverpool City Council spokeswoman said: We adopt a common sense approach in dealing with bin collections and its on extremely rare occasions that we wont take away a householders rubbish. We ask residents to make sure their wheelie bin lids are on properly to prevent rubbish spilling on to the road when its moved. Also cats, dogs or other animals could get into the bins and make a mess of the street. In the last year, Liverpool has invested more than £4.5 million in our kerbside recycling service enabling people to recycle the majority of their household waste which is proving to be extremely popular, so having over-flowing bins is not really an issue. Bristol City Council recycling spokesman Mark Nicholson added: Bristol City Council does indeed ask householders to make sure their wheelie-bin lids can close. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is a health and safety issue for the truck crews. If the lid is flipped open it is harder for operators to see where the bin attaches to the back of the refuse vehicle for automatic emptying. This could lead to a bin not being properly attached and falling off. However, this policy also encourages waste minimisation and recycling, and reduces problems like vermin and flies gaining access to bins. The Local Government Association has cited a number of reasons why some local authorities will not collect bins if residents leave their lids open. A spokesman said: There are a variety of reasons why some authorities do not collect bins if their lids are open. One example is health and safety, if a drug user put a needle on top of a bin then that causes obvious health and safety issues. A wheelie bin can also be chewed up by an automatic lifting device if the lid is not shut down properly. The Times contacted the 50 largest councils in England and Wales to survey them about their wheelie bin policies.

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