A resident in North Hertfordshire whose council did not collect his bin, claiming the contents had frozen due to the cold weather, described the incident as “farcical”.

Mr Fursie, who does not wish to use his real name, 58, was due to have his garden waste bin collected on Tuesday morning, but the waste was not collected and a leaflet bearing the logos of North Herts Council and East Herts Council was left on his bin.

The notice said the contents of Mr Fursie’s bin were frozen, making it difficult to empty, and included advice for residents to loosen the contents with a spade or leave bins in a warm place such as a garage or shed.

A leaflet about missed bin collections because the contents had frozenThe North Hertfordshire resident received a leaflet from his local councils after his bin was not collected due to the cold weather (Mr Fursie)

Mr Fursie told the PA news agency: “The idea we have to keep it somewhere warm is farcical especially when they sometimes arrive early morning.

“I have plenty of suitable plots but they are round the back of the garden – I’m not getting up at 6.30 to wheel them out the front.

“I’m sure a quick shake of the bin would have fixed it.”

The front of the leaflet read: “Due to the cold weather the contents of your bin have frozen.

“We have attempted to empty your bin but this was unsuccessful.”

Mr Fursie shared a picture and a video of the contents which showed old leaves and grass clumped together, while ice and frost coated the inside of the bin.

In the video, he used a spade to demonstrate the ease of breaking up the debris and said the contents were “certainly not frozen”.

The inside of a garden waste bin with old leaves and grassMr Fursie said the contents of his bin were not frozen (Mr Fursie)

The resident said his last collection was four weeks ago and he has been waiting since the festive period, when there are fewer collections, to have his garden waste disposed of.

He said he will now have to wait two weeks until his bin is collected.

“This was the first collection in four weeks as they miss one around Christmas time,” he said.

He said it costs him £50 a year to have his garden waste bins emptied by the council, which are collected bi-weekly.

Mr Fursie also said he was shocked after noticing a plastic coating on the leaflet, raising concerns about its impact on the environment.

“The leaflets are (clearly) shocking for the environment. Plastic coated paper. A sticker would be better,” he said.

Cllr Amy Allen, North Herts Council’s executive member for recycling and waste, said “Frozen bins aren’t farcical, they’re snow joke! It’s a real issue and our crews do all they can to empty bins for residents when temperatures drop.

“In this case, it sounds like this resident’s bin could not be emptied as it was frozen from the weather, and therefore we left a bin hanger on their bin advising of this and how to help keep their bin from freezing in future.

“So it’s likely their bin was lifted onto our vehicle, tipped upside-down and banged against the mechanism to be emptied, but the contents didn’t dislodge because it was frozen solid. Staff can’t really do much more, hence our advice to residents if they find their bin frozen.

“If we prised every lid open and dug out the contents of each person’s bin it would be never ending and the crews wouldn’t get home until midnight. All we ask is for each resident to take a few minutes to do it instead, if necessary. Our crews work really hard in freezing and sometimes dangerous conditions and it’s a thankless task.”

Ms Allen added that other councils across the UK provide similar advice, while the council said that their bin hangers are not laminated, and are printed on card and recyclable.