Unions representing bin collectors in Birmingham have announced two half days of strike action.
Some roads in the city have not had rubbish collected for several weeks as a result of industrial action, severe weather and the Christmas break.
Piles of uncollected bin bags have led to concerns from residents about public health. A care home in Handsworth has not had its clinical waste collected for about a month and 47 bags of human waste and soiled incontinence pads have been sitting in the street waiting to be collected.
A serious problem of course, and distressing for all of those who are affected. The residents are correct, there is a significant public health and nuisance impact from these piles of uncollected waste.
If the domestic waste is largely unsorted, that is it contains a significant putrescible fraction then assuming no direct contact the public health risks and hazard potential from sanitary/offensive wastes may not be much greater than for black bag refuse.
But the smell may be far greater, and just wait for a Norovirus or winter vomiting outbreak…….!