Residents fume at council as 'careless' bin act risks injury

Nick Ryan, 70, said he needs to climb down into a storm drain every week to retrieve his bin.

Green, yellow and red garbage wheelie bins strewn across the side of the road and in the storm drain in a street in Medowie.
Resident Nick Ryan said garbage bins are found in the storm drain on his street in Medowie, NSW, like 'clockwork' every week. Source: Supplied

Residents of a regional town claim they are at risk of injury every week while collecting their garbage bins as they are found on their side and fallen into a storm drain like "clockwork", forcing residents to clamber down into the ditch to retrieve them.

For months now Nick Ryan, 70, claims garbage collectors have "carelessly" left his and his neighbours' bins in this state on his street in Medowie, in NSW's Hunter Region. And despite flagging the issue to council, he says the problem continues.

"My bins and the neighbours are allowed to fall into the storm drain. The drain side walls are well over one metre deep and difficult to get in, let alone pull the bin out for a near 70-year-old," Ryan wrote in an email to council that Yahoo News has seen.

He told Yahoo he "should not have to do this" and "any injury to me during retrieval would be on them".

"I have to use the telegraph pole to assist with getting in to the ditch, it doesn't look much but it's deep and sometimes a good flow of water is present," he said.

Port Stephens Council confirmed to Yahoo News the complaint was communicated to the garbage collectors who are contracted by the council.

Green bins stand at the side of the road with red bins fallen over into the ditch.
Residents need to retrieve their bins from the ditch which often has water in it. Source: Supplied

"There were discussions held with both parties over a period of a couple of months," a spokesperson said. "Council was advised by our contractor that they would take more care when placing the bins back down."

Council said no further complaints have been received on the matter, yet Ryan said the issue prevails and he is growing tired of fighting it.

"I have had several responses from council regarding this problem but nothing has changed... after complaining it appears now to be worse," he claimed.

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