Tyne & Wear

Hebburn resident's legal action over garden waste collection

Green wheeled bin
Image caption Residents pay £32 per bin for 16 garden waste collections

A resident is taking legal action against his council for suspending garden waste collections during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mike Smith, from Hebburn, has made a claim for the money he paid for the service because he could not get an answer about when it would resume.

South Tyneside Council said it halted the collections to concentrate on critical frontline services.

A spokesman confirmed the authority had received the claim.

Mr Smith, 50, said he was told by email the service had been suspended but was given no further details.

"There was no date or plan for when they're going to resume the service and they have not provided the service I have paid for," he said.

"They're not giving people the option to get their money back, they haven't decided what they're doing with the service - it's ridiculous."

'Show patience'

The council runs a garden waste collection from April until November, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It costs £32 per bin for a minimum of 16 green waste collections per household.

Mr Smith said he would accept a partial refund, depending on the number of collections eventually carried out.

A council spokesman said: "We decided to suspend the garden waste service to allow us to divert resources to the most critical frontline services.

"We would urge people to show patience and understanding during these unprecedented and incredibly challenging times."

The authority would look at the issue of people only receiving part of the service once the situation returned to normal, it said.

Mr Smith has submitted a claim for £32 through the government's small claims court facility, the Online Civil Money Claims service.

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