Some residents have abused bin wagon staff after Douglas Council moved to fortnightly collections.

Douglas Council says it will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards its employees, which is deemed ‘totally unacceptable’.

‘Waste collectors, staff at the Civic Amenity Site and waste services staff, have been subjected to hostility and abuse from members of the public since a change in policy was announced,’ a council spokesman said.

The local authority accepts that the behaviour ‘stems from some of those unhappy with the move to fortnightly bin collections’.

It says such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Council leader Claire Wells said: ‘All at Douglas Council are committed to a work environment free of assault, abuse, harassment and bullying where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

‘While the behaviour of the majority of members of the public is great, some people believe it is acceptable to abuse, intimidate or even threaten council employees, and to generally treat and speak to them in a fashion that they would never dream of doing when dealing with other organisations.

‘To verbally abuse members of staff because you don’t agree with a change in policy, or for any other reason, is totally unacceptable. If someone is dissatisfied with a service, we have processes in place that enable people to report issues – please don’t take it out on a member of staff.

‘All our public-facing employees carry out demanding and vital work for all our communities, day in and day out – whatever the weather. They should be treated with the same common courtesy and respect as anyone else.’

Councillors reiterated the reasons behind the move to fortnightly collections at a requisition meeting last week.

Mrs Wells was subject to a hostile reception when she spoke at the Legion Hall in the city.

The meeting was chaired by Stephen Carter, Captain of the Parish of Lonan.

Environmental services committee chair Councillor Falk Horning said: ‘The waste service team works tirelessly to keep the capital clean and functioning and is, for the most part, taken completely for granted by the public.

‘Officers are speaking regularly with the waste teams to understand what issues they’ve encountered. The council will take a zero-tolerance approach to those who abuse them. Please be kind – as your words and actions may have consequences.’

#ouglas North MHK David Ashford has been critical of the council’s decision and accused it of not doing enough to consult with residents.