£25 charge for bin ‘unjust’
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.