£25 charge for bin ‘un­just’

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY CHANTELLE HEEDS chantelle.heeds@reach­plc.com @chantelle­heeds

RES­I­DENTS are com­plain­ing af­ter be­ing asked to pay for com­pul­sory blue re­cy­cling bins – de­spite pre­vi­ously be­ing of­fered them free.

Peo­ple who cur­rently use the blue box to re­cy­cle house­hold items have been asked by West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil to re­place their boxes with wheelie bins – for a fee of £25.

Many res­i­dents have been shocked by the re­quest, as they were pre­vi­ously given the op­tion to switch to a bin for no charge.

Wendy Hud­son, of Par­bold, said: “As I live alone and have very lit­tle re­cy­cling, I opted to keep my blue box.

‘‘This, it seems, will no longer be emp­tied and I would have to pur­chase a blue wheelie bin for £25 if I want to keep on re­cy­cling.

“As this was not made clear at the time, and prob­a­bly hadn’t even been con­sid­ered, I think that the boxes should be re­placed free of charge.

“Af­ter all, they would have been freely sup­plied had peo­ple in my po­si­tion asked to re­ceive one at the time, there­fore this is merely a de­fer­ment of de­liv­ery.”

Ac­cord­ing to coun­cil in­de­pen­dents Our West Lan­cashire, Wendy was just one of many res­i­dents who have com­plained to them about the is­sue.

Cllr Adrian Owens said: “We’ve been con­tacted by sev­eral res­i­dents who cur­rently use the blue box to re­cy­cle glass, plas­tics and cans and who are telling us that the coun­cil is want­ing them to change to a blue bin, and worse still to have to pay for the bin as well.”

He de­scribed the de­ci­sion to charge res­i­dents £25 for a bin, when the coun­cil is forc­ing the change, as “un­just.”

He added: “When the blue bin was in­tro­duced, many res­i­dents, es­pe­cially in smaller house­holds or with limited space, chose and were given the op­tion to re­main with the blue box.

“Now the coun­cil is forc­ing the switch to a blue bin it is un­just to de­mand £25.

“Many will un­der­stand­ably refuse to pay this charge which is un­fair as it is the coun­cil which is en­forc­ing the change.”

His party also stated that res­i­dents claim to have writ­ten to the coun­cil about the is­sue, but are yet to re­ceive a re­ply up to three weeks later.

The coun­cil said it was work­ing hard to re­spond to all in­quiries re­ceived.

A spokesper­son for West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil said: “The pol­icy ap­proved by coun­cil in early 2013 was to in­tro­duce blue bins to re­place blue boxes, at an in­vest­ment of £360,000.

“This pol­icy was later re­vised to in­tro­duce a charge of £23 for re­place­ment con­tain­ers and this has been the ap­proach ever since. As blue boxes have be­come re­dun­dant, res­i­dents have pur­chased blue bins. Re­cently, the charge for con­tain­ers has been in­creased to £25.

“When blue bins were in­tro­duced, res­i­dents were en­cour­aged to switch from a box to a bin. At the time, res­i­dents would not have in­curred a charge.

“This has, how­ever, now changed due to the in­tro­duc­tion of charges for re­place­ment con­tain­ers.”

The coun­cil said that the com­pul­sory change was to en­sure that col­lec­tion sys­tems were ef­fi­cient and con­sis­tent through­out the bor­ough to in­crease its re­cy­cling per­for­mance to 50% by 2020.

Only prop­er­ties that are un­able to ac­com­mo­date a wheeled bin will be able to con­tinue to use a box from June 4, 2018.

The spokesper­son added: “If res­i­dents are con­cerned about only gen­er­at­ing small amounts of re­cy­cling or the cost of a bin, it is pos­si­ble to share with a neigh­bour.

“Al­ter­na­tively, the bin can be pre­sented less of­ten or small amounts of re­cy­cling can be dis­posed of at a house­hold re­cy­cling cen­tre. The coun­cil also of­fers an as­sisted col­lec­tion for those res­i­dents who are un­able to move a wheeled bin.”

Res­i­dents can or­der a new blue bin, or find out more about the changes, by vis­it­ing www.west­lancs.gov.uk/refuse.

Our West Lan­cashire Cllr Adrian Owens be­lieves that the charge for a bin is un­just and that peo­ple com­plain­ing about it are yet to re­ceive a re­ply three weeks on

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