Southend mum Joanna Green is demanding that Southend Council rethinks the new recycling arrangements after her two-year-old son Callum lost part of his nose – he was playing with one of the new blue paper recycling boxes that have been issued to all borough residents. According to the horrified mum, the clip that fastens the lid into place was ‘an accident waiting to happen,’ and she wants to warn as many parents as possible about the ‘lethal’ containers. 

Joanna said: ‘I had already caught the end of my finger in there in a few times, and I remember telling my mum that it felt stronger than an alligator’s jaw when it snaps into place. I keep my box in the kitchen, and like any other inquisitive toddler my son Callum kept sticking his nose in there to have a sniff at my discarded newspapers and Waitrose cups. Unfortunately, he loves the smell of coffee for some reason, and he managed to get the lid off before slamming it down over the end of his nose – I rushed him to hospital and the on-call Maximilion registrar told us that he was lucky to be alive. They were able to perform an emergency skin graft using an area of his right buttock, and he should be fully-healed by the summer.’

A Freedom of Information request from Southend News Network showed that there have been 17 other local recycling-accessory injuries in 2016 so far. A lady from Thorpe Bay accidentally swallowed a pink sack in January, while an elderly gentleman from Shoebuyness spent three days trapped inside a green garden bin in freezing January temperatures.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘We are currently updating all information leaflets to make sure that all residents are aware of the potential dangers of these blue plastic boxes. If residents would prefer to discard the lid completely, they will need to make sure that paper doesn’t blow all over the street on collection day or they could be liable for a £100 fine.’


  1. Surely this mother must have read the council leaflet on recycling and would have understood that children’s noses cannot be put out for household recycling?