OPPOSITION councillors in Sheffield have called for 30,000 green bins to be retained and re-used, rather than being destroyed as the council has proposed.
The bins, used for recycling garden waste in South-East Sheffield before the council scrapped its free collection service earlier this year, are to be collected up, chipped and sold.
Residents in other areas never had green bins, instead putting out sacks of garden waste for collection before the service was cancelled.
Now Liberal Democrat members of Sheffield Council have suggested the unwanted bins be redistributed to residents who want to pay a £57.60 annual charge to continue to have their waste collected. They say the bins, which would cost £20 to buy new, have a total value of £600,000.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem group leader, said: “Since Labour decided the scrap the hugely popular free green sacks, people across the city are looking for alternative ways to recycle their garden waste.
“It seems like a complete waste to have a ‘bonfire of the bins’, when many of those residents may welcome the offer of a green bin.
“Instead of needlessly wasting these green bins, Labour councillors should be putting them to good use.”
Labour rejected the idea, and said it did ‘not make any sense’ to redistribute bins which would not form part of the council service.
Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “Unfortunately, because of the huge cuts the Government is making to our budget in Sheffield, we are no longer able to provide a green waste service free of charge.
“Charges for green waste already happen in many other communities across the country and as the Government is making cuts, far fewer councils are able to provide this service free of charge.
“Only the Lib Dems could suggest giving people a bin that would not be emptied or collected - this does not make any sense.
“Ultimately this comes back to the problem that the Government is making heavy cuts to our budget and the council can no longer afford the service.
“If we did not do this we would be faced with bigger cuts to other services. The Liberal Democrats should address the real issue - such heavy cuts.”