Southwark Council has apologised after residents of a Bermondsey estate were left holding their breath waiting for a large communal bin to be emptied for nine months.
The bin, at the corner of Drappers Way on St James’s Road, part of the Rouel Road estate, was not emptied because high winds slammed the gate against the brickwork surrounding it. Southwark Council put up fencing around the bin, while rubbish and empty drinks cans lay strewn on the pavement as the bin – normally emptied weekly – was left in place.
The bin was finally emptied on Monday (November 8). Council officers at the scene said it had been there for about nine months, adding that the reason it took so long was because it took a while to find a competent contractor.
A representative of the Rouel Road tenants and residents association (TRA) called the bin “a health hazard on many levels”.
Drappers Way is on the main route down to Bermondsey’s Blue market from the tube station. The Blue has recently had a £2m facelift with a view to attracting visitors to the area.
“What a lovely sight to behold”, the TRA member joked.
Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for council homes and homelessness, said: “The issue wasn’t as simple as emptying a bin sadly, so we did need to speak to a number of contractors for different specialist works – the wall needed repair due to some damage and we had to be sure that moving the container would not cause further damage and added costs. All waste has now been removed and the site will be secured so that all repair works can be completed. Our apologies to residents that this has taken longer than usual.”