Cambridgeshire

Cambridge City Council probe binmen 'overloading' claim

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Media captionCCTV footage shows two men apparently adding to the bin before taking a photo

A shop owner used a CCTV camera to film council refuse collectors apparently putting rubbish in his bin before walking off without emptying it.

Iftikhar Ahmed said he set up the camera after incidents in which rubbish from his shop, DARS Express, was not collected by Cambridge City Council.

Footage from last Friday shows two workers placing items in the bin before taking a photo and leaving.

The council apologised and said the "level of service" was unacceptable.

"Cambridge City Council will be investigating this incident and taking appropriate action in accordance with the council's disciplinary policy," said a council spokesman.

'Really bad'

"We always aim to offer good customer service and, on this occasion, the level of service was not acceptable. We have apologised in writing to the customer."

Mr Ahmed, 52, said the footage, taken from behind his shop in Regent Street, Cambridge, showed the workers opening his already full blue bin and adding cardboard waste.

They then closed the lid and added a bin bag to the top before taking the photo.

"It's really bad, unbelievable" Mr Ahmed said. "We're paying for this service."

Mr Ahmed said he paid £10 plus VAT three or four times a week for the council collections.

He said he had followed guidelines by leaving additional bin bags by the side of the bin.

'Improve service'

The bin of his neighbour also appeared to have been left, with the workers apparently taking a photo of it but not adding to it.

"Is it hygienic?" Mr Ahmed said. "Are they doing their duty?

"And what happens to other people who don't have CCTV?"

Mr Ahmed urged them to take the matter seriously.

The council said it did not collect bins if lids were not fully closed or when the bin was "prohibitively heavy".

The authority spokesman added: "The council is keen to work with businesses to tailor services to their needs, and encouraging separation of waste for recycling.

"We will be working with the customer to improve the service we provide to them, and urge other businesses to talk to us about options for recycling, which can help them manage their waste more effectively and save money."

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