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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Monday, 10 January 2011
Birmingham Council says bin bag clean up continues

BBC Midlands Today lunchtime bulletin reports from Moseley on 10 January

People in Birmingham have been describing how they're still waiting for a backlog of rubbish to be cleared from their streets.

The refuse service has been affected by industrial action, the Christmas break and the severe winter weather.

The council had extra casual crews out over the the weekend and said they collected nearly 1,200 tonnes of waste.

Cllr Tim Huxtable said those crews would be out again on Monday, 10 January to continue the clear up.

"Herculean" effort

Cabinet member for Transportation and Regeneration, Cllr Huxtable, said he accepted that they couldn't get to everyone over the weekend and that was "very unfortunate" despite their "Herculean effort".

"We believe we got very, very close. There will obviously be isolated examples and this is why all our casual crews will be out again today [Monday] picking up from those areas that we couldn't get to at the weekend," he added.

Bins bags in Northfield 9 Jan
More strike action has been called

Meanwhile, people who are still waiting for the backlog to be cleared have been talking to BBC WM.

Other arrangements

Debi Newbold from Moseley said their last collection had been before Christmas and the rubbish "had been sitting here, rotting slowly".

She said: "It's revolting..the smell brings tears to your eyes."

Debi said they were expecting a council collection on Tuesday, 11 January but said arrangements were being made at the flats where she lived to call in a private contractor.

Over in Bordesley Green, Fran Hood said they had been waiting for a collection for three weeks and described the situation as "annoying".

Her next collection is due on Thursday morning, but unions representing bin workers in Birmingham have announced two half days of strike action on Thursday, 13 and Friday, 14 January.

More action

Fran said: "I'm wondering if they'll come here at 7am on Thursday morning. They're going to go to other roads before they come to me so are they going to be too full to collect our rubbish on Thursday or whenever they turn up? Hopefully they'll turn up before Thursday."

Council binmen began working to rule on 22 December as part of a long-running pay dispute.

The refuse collectors claim proposed changes to their employment contract would amount to a £4,000 pay cut.

The council said the changes were necessary to ensure pay equality with female co-workers at the council.

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In Pictures: Streets of rubbish
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