Birmingham Council Calls for Doctors Notes to Prove
You Need Assisted Bin Collections

Birmingham council’s waste chief has been accused of introducing a tax on vulnerable people who need help to put their wheelie bins out.

He has ordered a full review of the 12,000 residents who are currently receiving assisted bin collections where their bin is collected from their garden by refuse teams rather than pulled to the kerbside.

Assisted collections are offered to people with mobility problems, especially if they have steep gardens.

The council said that it wants to make sure that people who are receiving assisted collections still live at that address and still require the help. It insists that help will not be removed from where it is needed.

Other councils have reviewed their assisted collection services and some have managed to cut their lists by half; which definitely speeds up collections for bin crews.

But the waste chief has gone a step further. He has called on people who want to apply for assisted bin collection to prove they need one with a doctor’s note, which costs up to £18.

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The opposition leader has accused the council of ‘taxing’ vulnerable people by making it mandatory for them to pay for a doctor’s note if they need help moving their bins.

Another opposition councillor said that before the introduction of wheelie bins, there were only rubbish bags, and all residents had them collected from their property. He added that Birmingham council were making it harder for residents to dispose of their rubbish.

But the council has hit back by saying that assisted collections have never been reviewed until now, and that the council provides this service to households where it is not needed sometimes, for example, when an elderly resident has moved into residential care. This is an unnecessary cost for the council and it hits productivity, at a time when efficiency savings are essential.

As part of the review of assisted collections, all households on the list will be sent a letter asking whether they want to continue with the service. People who don’t reply within four weeks will lose the service. The assisted collection service will now be reviewed every two years.