Refuse collector who refused to collect

PUBLISHED: 13:24 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

Bin and gone – Mark and Caroline Cheetham load up their dustbin with one of the bags left by the refuse collector

Bin and gone – Mark and Caroline Cheetham load up their dustbin with one of the bags left by the refuse collector

WHEN taxi driver Mark Cheetham moved to Biggleswade he expected a peaceful and tranquil life. But a confrontation with his refuse collector gave him the shock of his life when the garbage collector jumped in the back of his cart and threw OUT Mr Cheetham

WHEN taxi driver Mark Cheetham moved to Biggleswade he expected a peaceful and tranquil life.

But a confrontation with his refuse collector gave him the shock of his life when the garbage collector jumped in the back of his cart and threw OUT Mr Cheetham's bin bags.

Trouble started when Mr Cheetham became upset when the refuse collectors failed to take three black bin bags lying next to his rubbish bin outside his home in Bunyan Road.

Having just moved to his new home with wife Caroline he was still getting rid of a lot of rubbish left by the previous owner.

So Mr Cheetham picked them up and tossed them in the back of the cart.

But one of the crew got out of the vehicle, ran round to the back, jump into the rubbish and tossed Mr Cheetham's three black bags on to the road and drove off.

"I was gob smacked," said Mr Cheetham.

"I had thrown the bags in the cart because he had left them and then he jumped in the crusher, it wasn't going at the time, and threw them out saying I couldn't do that.

"He looked a bit angry but so was I. But he must be mad to jump in a dust cart crusher just to throw three bags out.

"It was only rubbish. He said I could not put rubbish in the dustcart and drove off. His mates looked on a bit shocked."

Mr Cheetham, a black cab driver in London, said a lot of rubbish had been left by the previous owner of the house and he had already made several trips to a nearby tip to dump bags of garbage.

"There are flies and maggots everywhere and these bins cause a health hazard," added Mr Cheetham, 52.

"I came here from Enfield to enjoy the quiet life in the country and this happens. I pay £107 a month in council tax and the rubbish should be collected whether it is in a bag or put in a container.

"I don't regret what I did. I thought I was doing the guy a favour and he had just forgotten the bags.

"He was obviously following procedure but to throw them back on the road was madness.

"I have to admire the bloke for his job dedication, as he clearly would rather be crushed to death than take my rubbish.

"Trying to see the funny side of it I wondered if a police officer had been present who would have been guilty of littering the street him or me?"

A spokesman for Mid Beds District Council said: "Mid Beds are concerned to hear of this alleged incident and clearly would not approve of such a potentially dangerous action by a contractor. If a complaint is made directly to us about this incident, we will investigate this further with our contractors under the health and safety obligations of their contract.

"The council provides black wheeled bins for residual waste collection. Sacks are only accepted as an alternative by prior arrangement with the council in areas where it is not possible to use wheeled bins.

"We would also like to remind residents that they should not endanger themselves by attempting to place items in the collection lorries themselves.

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