CARE home managers have hit out after strikes left bins overflowing with rubbish.
Bin collection teams were among Sunderland City Council staff who took part in a public sector walkout on Thursday.
Sheltered accommodation on Sunderland’s seafront were supposed to have their rubbish collected on the day and already have bags spilling out of their bins.
By the time they are finally emptied on Thursday, it will have been two weeks since the last collection.
Peter Stracey House, in Fulwell, is home to about 80 pensioners, with an average age of 85.
Estate manager Graham Scott said: “We have three large Euro bins and there is no room in them. They are full already, so basically, I am having to put black bags out on the ground.
“We are probably going to get a rodent problem and we have had seagulls pecking at them.
“I have sympathy with the bin men, as I believe their pensions and things like that are going to be affected, but this is going to be a health hazard, especially in the warm weather.”
Robert Scott is also worried about older people living in the 38 flats he manages at Cuthbertson Court, Fulwell, where each wheelie bin is shared between two households.
He said: “They go into a little cupboard at the front door, so there is no room for additional bags.
“This is going to cause a problem on the court.
“We do normally have weekly collections, but with the bins being shared, it’s like every two weeks.
“So by Thursday, we are going to have a real problem.”
Ward councillor George Howe is calling on the council to step in. He said: “One man said to me, ‘strike or no strike, I can’t take council tax off my bill for this’.
“I think in these types of situations, with places like sheltered accommodation and care homes, the council should have plans in place. I’m not keen on them paying overtime, but that is the situation.”
Coun Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services, said: “We would like to apologise to any residents whose weekly bin collections were temporarily disrupted by Thursday’s national industrial action for any inconvenience, and thank them for their patience.
“The council is one of the few in the North East to offer weekly refuse collections, so we anticipate that after this period of disruption, service will return to normal as quickly as possible.”
Bins in the affected areas will be emptied on the next scheduled bin day – Thursday, or Thursday, July 24, if brown or blue recycling bin were missed.
Coun Mordey added: “Crews are unable to return before these dates, but extra waste that cannot fit into bins can be left in two, well secured black bags, alongside the general waste bin for their next collection on Thursday.
“We will continue to work with residents and community partners to address any specific issues that arise as a result of these arrangements and take any appropriate action.”