A COUPLE living in an Alva cottage have hit out at Clackmannanshire Council after it stopped uplifting their waste from a rural road.

Graham Finlay-Kirkwood, who is due to turn 71, and his husband James, soon 60, say they have been struggling to deal with their household waste after the local authority stopped uplifting their bins on a rural section of Hillfoots Road.

The council told the Advertiser some roads may not be suitable for waste collection vehicles in which case householders are asked to present their bins at the end of the road, in line with national practice.

However, Myretoun Cottage, where the couple reside, is around half a kilometre from the Menstrie end of the road where waste storage was set up, along with an upgrade for the road, following discussions with residents there.

Graham explained he sought to be a part of the discussion at the time only to be told that it did not involve their household.

The resident, whose bin uplifts stopped at the end of February, told the Advertiser: “I’ve had various stories: the road is not safe, but the road belongs to the council, it’s been adopted by them; they mentioned the lifting of heavy bags; and the other thing I heard was the cost involved.

“I’m 71 this year, my husband is just under 60, he is more healthy than I am, but that’s not the point.”

Graham previously suffered a mini-stroke while both are living with high blood pressure.

The couple were offered the opportunity to either take their waste to the Menstrie storage unit or to James’ pet shop in Tillicoultry, but transporting the waste is a key issue.

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Graham is also worried that such an arrangement will not be attractive for any prospective buyers should they decide to sell the cottage.

He added that the post gets delivered and companies such as Amazon have no problem making it to the address either.

A spokesperson for Clackmannanshire Council said: “In the overwhelming majority of cases, household waste containers will be collected from the edge of the kerbside outside our residents’ homes.

“However, in some areas, particularly rural locations like this one, unfortunately some roads may not be suitable for access by our collection vehicles.

“In these circumstances householders will be asked to present their waste and recycling containers for collection at the end of their road.

“This policy on road-end collections is supported by the National Code of Practice on Household Waste and Recycling.

“We have offered Mr Finlay-Kirkwood the use of a bin store at the Menstrie end of the road, or to have his waste collected from a nearby business premises, and we will continue to liaise with him to find a solution which works for all concerned.”

Cllr Mark McLuckie has also taken up the issue with the council on behalf of the residents.

The Clackmannanshire West representative has been supporting the couple over an extended period of time and said: “I presented various arguments to support him, including concerns about a potential breach of the Equality Act.

“However, none of these efforts succeeded in changing the service’s stance.

“I have maintained contact with the constituent and will continue to provide support where I can.”