Wednesday 28 May 2014 by Adam Southward

Bin-men ‘far too quiet’ claim outraged residents


refuse collection too quiet

Thousands of UK residents have joined an online petition calling for bin collections to be noisier and less considerate in the morning.

The petition cites several cases where residents have slept right through the 6am morning collection, often not waking until late morning when the collection lorry reverses back down the street.

Professor Simon Williams from the UK Institute of Colleges says it’s a growing problem.

“Despite recent technological innovations,” he says, “including super high-revving collection lorries and wheelie bins designed to sound like thunder when wheeled slowly across level ground, many refuse companies are still failing to reach the 140-decibel noise requirement, as dictated by new EU regulations.”

“We’ve been taking drastic steps to improve things,” said Bob Pumlin, Collection Design Manager at Crapita outsourcing services, who provide refuse collections for 70% of UK councils.

“If we look back 10 years, Refuse Collection and Processing Consultants were brash and rude; shouting obscenities and generally making as much noise as they could.

“That sort of noise woke people up; dug into their dreams and dragged them screaming into the new day.

“They still behave like that of course, but we’ve also added new ‘green’ collection lorries which operate a combination of diesel and jet engines, causing a constant deep throb overlaid with incessant screeching as the compressor squashes used toilet rolls.

“The lorries are actually electric,” he says, shaking his head sadly. “All of the noise is just for show; to demonstrate that we can add value and do this job better than the public sector.

“Without adding actual explosives,” he adds, “it’s hard to see how the modern outsourced refuse collection could be any noisier.”

Not everyone is happy with the current noise levels.

“It’s just not loud enough,” says the Head of Outsourcing at Chichester City Council, who is pursuing a breach of contract with their outsourced service provider.

“I’d be surprised if anything happens though,” he says. “Our legal department is outsourced to the same company that does the bins. We’ll probably just end up owing them more money.”

UKIP councillor Brett Hangthemall says it’s just another example of EU migrant workers being too quiet.

“Apparently 106% of Romanians are bin-men by trade,” he said.

“They sneak into our country and they sneak around collecting our bins. Apparently, the gay ones are the quietest.”

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