A 94-year-old great-grandmother who became so fed up waiting for striking bin men to turn up, she wheeled her garden waste two miles to the tip herself.
Nan Miller, from Canterbury in Kent, became so frustrated with the industrial action which started earlier this month, she felt forced to take matters into her own hands.
The long wait for bin collections is due to strikes launched by members of the GMB union working for Canenco, the waste contractor employed by the city council.
Ahead of her march to the tip, she said: ‘If they think they can get away with it, well I’m jolly well going to show them that they can’t.
‘I’m fed up to the back teeth – which are my own. My bin needs emptying so I’m going to push it to the tip myself.
Nan Miller, 94, took matters into her own hands when Canterbury City Council failed to collect her garden waste bin for three weeks
Ms Miller warned the council that she would walk her full bin to the recycling centre herself as it remained unemptied due to bin strikes
‘They think: “Oh well, it can wait”. But, I’m sorry, I’ve given up waiting.
‘It’s going to put a strain on me, of course, but my roots are in the north and we are a determined people – don’t play with me.’
Despite suffering from a heart condition, the retired French interpreter trekked for more than an hour, before a passerby who spotted her struggling with her bin and offered to take her the rest of the way.
The great-grandmother of two said she had warned the city council of what she would do if her green bin remained unemptied by Friday afternoon.
Ms Miller, who has suffered two cardiac arrests, and was due to visit the hospital for an appointment regarding a blood clot on Friday.
But true to her word, after hearing nothing from the council, she began her journey.
She wrestled her bin amidst blustery conditions along narrow pavements towards the recycling centre.
The council has said it tried to contact Ms Miller to say her bin would be collected on Saturday.
Ms Miller pictured with Nadine Fleming, a kind passerby who offered her a lift to the recycling centre
The tip in Canterbury, Kent, where Nan Miller, 94, took her wheelie bin
Three pay-rise offers have so far been rejected, with union bosses warned not to expect a fourth.
Although non-GMB members have still been working throughout this period, rushing around to ensure household waste is collected, recycling and garden waste collections have been more limited.
Despite paying an extra £47.25 a year on top of council tax to have her garden waste collected, Ms Miller grew slowly exasperated after watching her bin slowly fill up over the past three weeks.
Ms Miller said she attempted to cut her journey short a few times by sticking her thumb out and luckily passerby Nadine Fleming answered her prayers.
Ms Fleming, who was driving a Range Rover, said: ‘I saw her struggling along the road with a wheelie bin in one hand and walking stick in the other and it broke my heart.
‘So I pulled over and we put the bin in the back.’
Though the tip was already shut when they arrived, another good samaritan, Taylor Nickolson, who works at the Tyre Pros shop just around the corner from the tip, offered to empty Ms Miller’s garden bin into his own and give her a lift home afterwards.
A council spokesman said: ‘We share Mrs Miller’s frustration about her garden bin and are sorry she felt that she had no option other than to wheel her bin down to Vauxhall Road.
‘On Friday afternoon we rang on a number of occasions and also emailed her to say that Canenco had catch-up crews working and would be returning to her on Saturday, but unfortunately there was no answer to any of this communication.
‘Despite the ongoing strike action by GMB members, crews have been out working hard, getting to as many bins as possible.
‘This includes the full black bin service every day and good numbers of garden bins.’
The council has now reached a pay agreement with Unison members of the Canenco workforce of £14.45 an hour for drivers (up £1.87 an hour, a 14.9% increase) and £11.61 for loaders (up 95p an hour, an 8.9% increase).
The council spokesman added: ‘We would urge GMB members to accept the deal that remains on the table and end their strike.’