Councillors spent a morning collecting bins and discovered there are many problems binmen face on a daily basis.

Three Labour councillors went out on a shift with Barnet’s refuse and recycling teams on Friday (May 31) after taking part in training sessions over the Easter break.

As part of their day-to-day work, councillors often deal with complaints from residents about bin rounds.

But getting stuck in on the front line showed them the problems council staff face and what residents can do to help them out.

Labour environment spokesman Cllr Alan Schneiderman put in a shift alongside colleagues Cllr Barry Rawlings and Cllr Jo Cooper.

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Cllr Schneiderman said: “It was really interesting. It is really difficult, and staff do a great job.

“As councillors, we always get complaints from residents about bin collections. We wanted to see first-hand what it was like to do the job and the problems that staff encounter.”

Cllr Schneiderman said poor parking and people putting items into the wrong bins were among the main problems they came across.

He said: “Parking is a big issue – people blocking the roads with inconsiderate parking, making it really difficult for bin lorries to get through.

“Staff really have to negotiate narrow gaps and knock on doors to ask people to move their cars.

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“Dangerous driving is another one. Impatient drivers will get held up behind the bin truck and just pull up on to the pavement to go around it.

“I was doing recycling rounds, and it did highlight the amount of stuff people put in recycling bins that is not recyclable.

“I think sometimes residents, with parking or what they put in the bin, should do a bit more to make it easier for the staff.

“I found it extremely useful to see it from the other side.”