Bin strikes begin in Merseyside - will it affect me, how long do they last, what do I do with rubbish?

Wirral Council have confirmed bin collections and street cleaning services will be hit by six days of industrial action.

Bin collections in parts of Merseyside have been cancelled this week as around 200 workers employed by Biffa begin strike action over low pay.

The waste services company is contracted by Wirral Council to provide household bin collections, school bin collections, public litter bin collections and street cleaning.

The local authority has confirmed that all services will be disrupted during six days of walk outs, which begin on Monday December 5 and run until Saturday December 10.

Unite the Union are demanding a 15% pay increase for Biffa staff as inflation soars to 14.2% amid a nationwide cost of living crisis. The union says Biffa workers’ ‘low pay’ needs a ‘reset’, with HGV drivers currently on £11.95 an hour, refuse operatives £11.50 and street operatives £10.76.

What’s been said

Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe said: “The strike action will inevitably cause huge disruption to the residents of Wirral but this dispute is entirely of Biffa’s and the council’s own making. Biffa and Wirral council need to wake up, get round the negotiating table and make a pay offer which meets workers’ expectations.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Biffa is a hugely wealthy company that can and should pay a decent rate of pay to its workers. Unite’s members cannot and will not tolerate low pay any longer and they will receive the union’s complete support throughout this dispute.”

A Biffa spokesperson said: “Following negotiations between ACAS and the trade union in which an improved above-inflation deal was offered, we have been unable to reach an agreement.”

Bin collection advice for Wirral residents

The strikes in Wirral will run until December 10. Image: Kzenon - stock.adobe.com

Households in Wirral are being asked to store their rubbish until the next scheduled bin collection date or take it to household waste recycling centres in West Kirby, Bidston and Clatterbridge.

The council said residents who usually have their green bins collected this week will have them collected the week beginning December 12, instead of their grey recycling bin. Their green bin will then be collected again on the  week commencing December 19, and the usual collection routine then continues.

Residents who would normally have their grey recycling bin collected the week commencing December 5 should hold on to this waste until their next recycling collection day or take it to a household waste recycling centre.

For further advice, check the Wirral Council website.