GREEN bins worth £280,000 were ‘destroyed needlessly’ after Sheffield Council scrapped free garden waste collections last year.
Some 14,000 of the bins, used to collect garden waste for recycling, were handed back by residents who did not want to continue the service when charges were brought in, and destroyed.
Now the council’s contractor, Veolia, is offering a green bin service to all areas of Sheffield for a £60 annual fee - and may have to buy new bins to meet demand.
The 14,000 bins destroyed would cost £20 to buy new - a total of £280,000.
The original bins had been available only in south eastern areas of Sheffield.
At the time, opposition Liberal Democrats called for the bins to be offered to people in other areas of the city, but the idea was not implemented.
Coun David Baker, Liberal Democrat recycling spokesman, said: “I’m glad the council has finally rolled-out the green bin service across the city as we suggested last summer.
“However, it’s a shame that this policy has taken so long to come forward and that in the meantime 14,000 bins were needlessly destroyed on their ‘bonfire of the bins’.
“We argued at the time that this destruction was a short-sighted policy – if we were to replace those bins now it would cost another £280,000.”
Labour’s cabinet member for environment, recycling and street scene, Coun Jack Scott, said: “Lib Dems made no mention of expanding green bins in their shadow budget for 2013/14 - and instead wanted to cut the price of unpopular green sacks for areas without bins.”
Sheffield Council’s waste contractor Veolia is charging households £60 to subscribe to green bin collections, which pays for the bin to be emptied every fortnight from May to September.
Visit www.veolia.co.uk/Sheffield or call 0114 2734567.