Blind woman from Hitchin with rare neurological illness told by council that human waste must be put in her rubbish bin for collection

Sharon Reid

Sharon Reid - Credit: Archant

A blind woman who is incontinent and confined to a wheelchair says a local authority which has been collecting her human waste has told her it will now have to be put in the bin.

Sharon Reid, of Fishponds Road in Hitchin, has a rare complex neurological illness which has symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis. She relies on a wheelchair, is registered blind and is doubly incontinent.

She says she has been using North Herts District Council’s clinical waste collection service to dispose of her incontinence pads for the past decade.

Sharon, 42, said: “For the past 10 years I have had three to four large yellow bags of clinical waste picked up from my house on a weekly basis.

“I was sent a form for my doctor to fill in and return to the council two weeks ago and my collections have since been stopped.

“I have contacted the council and been told to place the soiled pads in my purple bin to be collected fortnightly.

“There is no way that amount is going to fit. I believe this is also undignified and unhygienic for my husband and carers, and also a health hazard for the operatives who have to pick this up after a two-week period.”

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Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC’s lead on the environment, said: “NHDC recently conducted a review of the clinical waste collection service, following guidelines from the government and Hertfordshire County Council on the classification of clinical waste.

“The clinical waste service is now only available for residents with infectious waste and sharps.

“Any waste that was previously collected as clinical waste, including non-infectious incontinence pads, should now be placed in resident’s purple general household waste bins for collection. We are providing larger purple bins to accommodate any additional waste.”