A ROW over an empty Pot Noodle tub led to a half hour street stand-off between an angry resident and a bin lorry.

Robert Watts became incensed after refuse collectors refused to empty his family’s burgundy recycling bin ­— and so used his car to block the lorry in Bernard Grove, Smithills, until he got their details so he could complain to the council.

Mr Watts says his wife Linzie was told that the bin could not be emptied because it contained a Pot Noodle tub, which is not allowed, but when she said she would remove it, they still refused as the bin would now be “contaminated”.

Astonished neighbours came out of their homes to witness the commotion, taking pictures as 44-year-old Mr Watts used his Hyundai car to stop the bin lorry driving forward along the narrow street.

“It was the wrong thing to do really, but I was annoyed,” said Mr Watts.

“All the neighbours were out with their cameras. It’s the most exciting thing they’ve seen all week.”

He says he came in for criticism from people in the street and was concerned they might get the impression that his bin was dangerous as they were told it had been contaminated.

“Are they scared it has got coronavirus in it or something because I could hear the bin men saying it was contaminated?” said Mr Watts.

“With what’s going on, you say the word ‘contaminated’ and 'Oh my God’.”

The Watts, who have lived in the street for four years with son Jacob, aged seven and daughter Amelia, two, say refuse collectors need to be more tolerant if people accidentally put wrong items in recycling bins and allow them to remove the items before emptying the rest of the contents.

“I have Googled in and it says a Pot Noodle is a completely recyclable item, but they wouldn’t accept it,” said Mr Watts, who added that it is his children who like the snack.

“I don’t actually like them, that what’s annoying as well,” he said.

Following the incident on Tuesday afternoon another collection lorry returned to the street yesterday and emptied Mr Watts’ bin, along with others on the street that had been missed.

A council spokesperson said: “This was an unfortunate incident which our crew were subjected to ­— and it was not because of one Pot Noodle container.

“Mr Watts’ burgundy bin actually contained lots of items that shouldn’t have been in there ­— plastic pots, tubs, trays, a pane of window glass and food waste.

“A crew member explained to Mr Watts why we could not empty the bin. He also offered that if the resident removed the non-recyclable waste and brought the bin back to them, they would empty it as they would be in the street for a while.

“Later in the afternoon the resident pulled up in his car, blocking the bin wagon from going down the street. The crew were left with no option but to contact the police to resolve the issue.

“The vast majority of our residents recycle correctly and we understand it is frustrating when bins cannot be emptied. However, every load of waste that is contaminated costs council taxpayers and this resident’s actions delayed other bins from being emptied.

“This is unacceptable, particularly at a time when our bin crews are working incredibly hard in very challenging circumstances.”