Pensioner’s fury after council order him to trim tree but refuse to collect bin

An Irvine pensioner is at odds with North Ayrshire Council after binmen refused to take away tree trimmings from a tree the local authority demanded be cut back.

David Rowland from Lawthorn claims he was ordered to trim back the branches of a tree which was blocking the light from a lamppost by the council in December 2021.

But the 70-year-old retired bricklayer says the council have since refused to uplift his bin containing the branches the local authority wanted to be pruned.

North Ayrshire Council have said that they were unable to lift such quantities of waste due to safety reasons.

David believes it'll take the rest of the year to clear the trimmings
David believes it’ll take the rest of the year to clear the trimmings

David explained: “My grandson cut the tree right down and two weeks ago I filled up my bin and three of my neighbour’s bins with the branches.

“The binmen lifted them no bother but the next time they didn’t take them, the binmen said this is because the branches are sticking out from the bin.

“But you can still pull the bin from the handles, even if the branches are sticking out, I don’t know what the problem is.

“I had to empty all four bins to give my neighbors their bins back.

Disgruntled David Rowland
Disgruntled David Rowland

“It’ll be a problem for me to take the branches to the dump because I can’t fit them into the car.

“I also have a heart problem, I try to stay inside as much as I can, and going to the dump means going up and down stairs lots of times to get into the skips.

“And I’m not going to pay for a private skip because it’s crazy money.

“I called the council three times this week but they don’t do anything to help. The council were the ones to ask me to trim the tree, and I did. It’s only fair they help clear it up.

David with the trimmings cluttering his garden
David with the trimmings cluttering his garden

“I’ve decided I’m not even going to ask my neighbors to borrow their bins anymore, I’m just going to use mine.

“At the end of the day, what I’ll have to do is cut the branches down as best as I can and every two weeks fill my bin up until they are all away.

“I reckon It’ll take me the better part of this year.”

This is not the first time David has had an issue with his outdoor styling.

The Irvine grandad first made national news in 2000 after his outdoor Christmas decorations were subject to a court order.

Wardlaw Gardens neighbors previously won a complete ban forcing David to remove his 8,500 bulb grotto which had decorated his house every Christmas since 1997.

“I planted that tree 22 years ago, the year I was banned from putting up my Christmas lights,” David said.

“I don’t know if it’s personal or not but what annoys me is I did my part and trimmed back the tree but now I’m stuck with no help to clear the branches from the side of my house.

“I’m damned if I do, I’m damned if I don’t.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “While we generally don’t comment on individual cases, we can confirm that Streetscene officers visited the resident at Wardlaw Gardens after we had written to him in December requesting that he cut back the tree which was restricting light from a nearby lamppost.

“Upon visiting the property on the brown bin collection day following this, the waste collections crew observed several bins full of significant quantities of tree cuttings.

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“For safety reasons, we were unable to uplift such quantities and our Waste Collection Supervisor has since spoken to the resident on the phone to advise on an appropriate means of disposal”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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