Has your bin collection been missed? Try this…

From personal experience I can tell you the thing that matters most to local authorities is the amount of our money in their pot. They love being able to dole out our cash on their pet projects and to their favoured groups.

So if your bin collection has been missed and rubbish is piling up at home, focus their attention on the problem by talking money.

Check your Council Tax bill to see how much you pay each year for your waste collection. If necessary call your Council and ask them the amount for your address or property banding. Divide the total by 52 or 26 to calculate how much collections cost you each week or fortnight respectively.

Now write a letter to the Chief Executive of your local authority or city council, copying the Head of Environmental Services and the Leader of the Council. Explain that the service you have paid for has not been provided and it is unreasonable that you have not received the service and have had to remove the waste to a waste station at your own expense or suffer the inconvenience of storing the rotting waste at your property; and as such you enclose an invoice for a refund of £xx.xx, accounting for the number of weeks your collection has been missed.

Set out your payment terms, for example that payment should be made by cheque within 28 days, or that you will apply interest (at a reasonable rate, say 5%) to the balance and an administration fee (say £30) for each subsequent communication you are forced to send.  Tell them that unless the Council challenges your invoice in writing within five working days it will be deemed they accept the terms.

If you pay for a service that is not provided you are entitled to redress. Councils should not be treated any differently to retailers or private service providers. It’s time to show them we are not going to tolerate poor service any longer. Do come back to this thread and let us know what response/refund you get. Remember, the only person who can empower you is you. In dealings with the state they are the servants and power should reside with you, so take it back.

Pass it on.

8 Responses to “Has your bin collection been missed? Try this…”


  1. 1 WitteringWitney 09/01/2011 at 11:55 pm

    AM, brilliant idea – unfortunately my local authority have complied with their legal obligations.

    However I would urge all those who have experienced ‘non-service’ to do exactly what you suggest – and with non-complaince by their local authority, to follow that up with court action!

  2. 2 andrew hammerschmiedt 10/01/2011 at 9:28 am

    Complete waste of time. They will respond by letter blaming strikes, floods, snow, whatever and return your invoice.

  3. 3 Autonomous Mind 10/01/2011 at 11:01 am

    So take them to court. No one should pay for something they do not receive.

  4. 4 Neal Asher 10/01/2011 at 2:08 pm

    I’m guessing you could take it to small-claims court?

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 10/01/2011 at 2:45 pm

    My aim is to start making people stand up for themselves and hold councils and departments to account. Stirring up a nuisance factor and increasing the confidence of residents to challenge authority acting in an arbitrary manner is important.

    I have not and am not advocating non payment of Council Tax, but rather demanding back what Councils should not be entitled to if they have failed to perform.

    I know how concerned many Officers would be if they were called on their failure to deliver a statuory service but had to write back with a ‘bugger off’ response. Particularly if the local media were brought into the equation. So if you do not get a suitable response, call a local reporter and get it in the paper.

    It might be tiny steps, but the more people start to demand accountability from our public servants the harder it will be for them to hold the line and treat us with the contempt they do now.

  6. 6 Bucko 10/01/2011 at 3:17 pm

    I have been kicking off with HMRC about paying tax for things I don’t use. I am getting nowhere and wont win but I am going to take it as far as possible.

    As for the council, I have discovered our house in one tax band lower than it should be. If I kick off with them I could end up paying a lot more each year so I am keeping my gob shut.

    PS. You can’t take government departments to the small claims court.

    PPS. Thanks for the mention earlier :-)

  7. 7 Ed P 11/01/2011 at 7:52 am

    Or just dump the uncollected rubbish on the councils doorstep (literally).
    (Just ensure it does not contain traceable items, like envelopes with your address.)

  8. 8 Peter MacFarlane 11/01/2011 at 1:16 pm

    I bet they just ignore your invoice.

    Basically they laugh at us, because they can.


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