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71-year-old woman left on floor for half an hour after slipping in ‘disgusting’ bin area

15 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Pictures showing the mess at the communal bin area at Hodges Square in Butetown, Cardiff after bin lorries were unable to access the site. Photo Liz Musa

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

A 71-year-old woman was left on the floor for half an hour in a communal bin area which hadn’t been emptied for weeks after slipping on an incontinence pad.

Liz Musa of Hodges Square, Butetown, said her bin store had been “horrible” for years, but in recent weeks it had become “absolutely disgusting”.

Cardiff Council confirmed that roadworks in Hodges Square made the communal bin area inaccessible to bin lorries and that collections were missed over a two week period.

The local authority said it visited the premises on March 14 to clear the rubbish that had accumulated on the site and that the larger container bins would be emptied on the next scheduled collection.


Liz, 71, said: “It is an ongoing thing. Even now, I haven’t gone down there but I can see the area from my back door and where [the council] skimmed the bins yesterday, there is more rubbish on top of the bins now.

“It can’t just be ours. People must just be throwing their bags of rubbish in there.”

“I understand the road was dug up and the lorry couldn’t get up, but if I was in the [council] and gave a company permission to dig up that road, that is one of the provisos I would think about – ‘what are we going to do about these bin stores?’

“We are just used to it [the mess]. Every tenant and resident here, we are used to it. It is not a shock because we just say, the council doesn’t care about Butetown. We are in Butetown and no one cares.”

The communal bin area where Liz takes her waste is shared by more than 30 other maisonettes.

Liz said she went out to dispose of her rubbish bags on Saturday, 2 March, when she slipped and fell to the floor.


She said: “I was in shock, I think. It was awful and it was raining. I was panicking because I tried to get over on my knees but I have got arthritis in my knees and I need two new knees.

“I have already got two artificial hips and I have got a replacement shoulder, so I am full of arthritis. I tried to roll over on my knees and then when I rolled over on my knees… I had to sit back down. I couldn’t get up.”

Liz said she was sat next to the windows of other flats and saw one of her neighbours move her curtains. “I waved and waved to attract her attention and thankfully she came out,” said Liz.

She said there was not enough capacity at the bin store to keep it tidy, adding that some of the families on site had more than five children.

Last year Liz’s service charge was £700. She added: “I don’t get any service, but I am paying all of this money.”


A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Due to highway works the bin store at Hodge Square has been inaccessible to refuse trucks. This has resulted in waste collection vehicles missing waste collections over a two week period.

“Council officers visited the area today (March 14) and all of the waste which had been left around the bin store has been collected. The larger container bins will be emptied on the next collection day which is Monday, March 18.

“A plan is being put in place for the contractor to bring the bins to Alice Street for collection on their scheduled collection days – while the roadworks are ongoing. We apologise for any inconvenience to residents.”

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