Birmingham residents collect own rubbish03/08/17Government
As refuse collectors strike for the fifth week, resident volunteers in Balsall Heath and Small Heath, Birmingham, UK, are using tipper trucks to clear rubbish from the streets.
Volunteers in Birmingham took to the streets in a tipper truck yesterday (2 August) in efforts to clear the area of rubbish which has been accumulating, owing to a refuse collectors’ strike.
Abdullah Rehman, chief executive of Balsall Heath Forum, said: “On the road … there’s piles of bags. Further down the road there are rubbish bags open with nappies on the street. Apart from anything else it’s a health hazard.”
Workers initiated a series of walkouts on 30 June following an industrial dispute between unions and Birmingham City Council concerning job losses.
Originally, the walkouts were for two hours per day, although the time was extended by an hour a day; strike action is anticipated to continue until September.
Naveed Sadiq from Bearded Broz, a group set up and run by volunteers from the Muslim community, worked alongside Balsall Heath Forum to collect waste on Wednesday at 6pm.
Sadiq said that Balsall Heath Forum “have a tipper truck and I came up with the initiative. This is getting out of hand really and someone needs to take ownership of this rubbish and we have decided to do that.”
Thousands have signed a petition calling for a partial council tax refund due to a lack of refuse and recycling collections. Conservative councillor Alex Yip launched the petition, which currently has 4,648 signatures, after a lot of “annoyed and frustrated” residents contacted him.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “We will work through the remaining areas in the coming days to tackle the backlog and get collections back on track.
“We fully appreciate this has been a frustrating time for Birmingham citizens and we thank them for their ongoing patience as we seek to resolve the dispute with the unions as quickly as possible.”