Residents of Southend have been asked to temporarily put their rubbish and recycling in a safe and secure location while all collections are suspended – staff have been diverted to clean up the onion spillage on Eastern Avenue. According to a spokesperson for the Southend Borough Waste Removalisation Department, a survey carried out last night detected that there are still around 75 million loose onions that need to be collected. 

Reginald Peel of SBWRD added: ‘We have now deployed our entire street rubbish collection department to the site so that the onions can be picked up and the road can be reopened to traffic. Unfortunately, the cleanup was delayed for eight hours yesterday after our team were unable to find the site of the spillage – they just kept driving past the onions in both directions until angry local residents came and pointed it out to them. Although the area isn’t due to have its regular waste root vegetable pickup until next week, we have taken the unprecedented step of changing the schedule to demonstrate our commitment to getting Southend moving again.’

Mr Peel added: ‘We imagine that all regular Southend rubbish and recycling collections will be on hold for around 4-6 weeks, but in the meantime people can always drive their bags of waste to our facility in Stock Road. Alternatively, we have put a poster on our website that people can download and print to ask local foxes, badgers and cats to leave refuse sacks alone.’