We have a bottle bank in the Gloucester Square car park in Southampton.

As you will see from the attached photo, it carries a helpful ‘action line’ phone number, so that residents can let Southampton City Council know when it is full.

You will also see from the photo that this particular bottle bank is indeed full, and bottles are being left on the ground next to it.

On ringing the number, one finds oneself in a rabbit hole.

The range of options does not include ‘press X to report a full bottle bank’.

On pressing a number that seems closest, at no point is an appropriate key offered. The system than offers to repeat all the useless information I have already heard and then thanks me for calling.

At no point can I go backwards, nor is there an opportunity to speak to someone or leave a message.

In the end, desperate to speak to a human being, I continued through the rabbit hole and finally got through to a number (‘hazardous waste’ I think) that started ringing.

After three rings I was cut off.

I know that all councils are strapped for cash, but a lick of paint covering the phone number would save socially minded residents considerable frustration, even if bottles will be spreading across the ground, which they will anyway.

Phil Hand