Since the blue lid recycling service started, my recycling bin has never been collected. The first collection was supposed to be Thursday 4th March. I left my bin out, only bringing it in on the following Monday. I called to report a missed collection on Wednesday and was told it couldn’t be dealt with, as it had been more than 3 days since it should have been collected. I’d have to wait until 18th March.

Thursday 18th March came and went with no recycling collection. I called to report another missed collection on the Friday, and was told it couldn’t be “actioned” as everyone in recycling had gone home. I was told someone from recycling would call me. I was told to bring the bin in as they wouldn’t be collecting it. I brought it in. Nobody called.

On Wednesday 31st March I heard the recycling lorry go past quite quickly, which was probably because there were no bins out for them to collect. I called the council helpline again to find out why the lorry had been on Wednesday when our calendar clearly states Thursday; apparently they were picking up a reported missed collection from a neighbour. I asked why we hadn’t been called so the rest of us could put our bins out, and was told that they (at the council helpline) didn’t know. They also said that the computer screen now said that my bin hadn’t been out on Tuesday 23rd March when they’d come to fetch it – of course it wouldn’t be as I hadn’t been informed they were coming, and was previously told to take it in. I can’t leave my recycling bin out every day on the off-chance that someone may pick it up at some point.

Someone from recycling called on Wednesday 31st March to assure me that the following day’s collection would happen. He asked where I live, I told him. No explanation as to why the previous collections had been missed, and no apology.

1st April – foolishly, I was surprised when no collection was made. I am leaving the bin out in the vain hope of it being collected. Friday evening has now come and it is still there, still full. Over the weekend the bin – which I fully intend to leave out – may be used as a urinal, road block or kebab remains depository by the drunks coming from the pubs down the road, and I accept no responsibility for that.

I would like Sandwell Council to explain why my collections are being missed, why I’m being fobbed off by people on the phone who clearly have no idea what is going on, and what I am supposed to do with all this recyclable material I have stockpiled for the sake of the environment. My home environment is lovely, by the way, with mounds of uncollected rubbish everywhere. It looks like a modern art installation, except that it could be useful if someone would only come and fetch it.