Residents left to pay for damage to wheelie bins they never move, Barnsley councillor says

Talks to find a solution to a broken bins problem in Barnsley are expected following a complaint that residents on ‘assisted collections’ – who rely on council collectors to move them – are still being charged when they get damaged.

By Paul Whitehouse
Wednesday, 31 July, 2019, 19:30
Expense: Residents normally have to pay when bins need replacing

The council charges to replace bins, unless footage from collection wagons’ CCTV shows the damage occurred while being emptied, and then gives a five year warranty on the replacement.

But Coun Victoria Felton has complained that she has been contacted by those on assisted collections, who are not required to take their bins out to the pavement in normal fashion because of infirmity, are still being charged for replacements.

She argues they could not be responsible for the damage and as such face an unfair charge and said those who qualified for the service “never touch their bin”.

She asked Coun Chris Lamb, a member of the council’s ruling Cabinet: “Can we guarantee they will get a free bin delivered?

“Some of these residents cannot get out of the house. These people are so vulnerable, they cannot afford it.”

Pinpointing when damage occurred, to allow an investigation, was difficult because they may not be immediately aware it had happened, she said.

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She made the appeal at a meeting of Barnsley Council and was told by Coun Lamb: “I would welcome the opportunity for Coun Felton and me to have a conversation with council officers to find a solution.”

However, he said removing costs of delivering replacement bins would leave the council needing to consider: “What impact it would have on the standard of service generally”.

Under the current regime, 99.7 per cent of bins were collected on time with 97.1 per cent of waste diverted from landfill.

In the last year more than 6,200 bulky items were removed by council teams, he said: “They are quite stunning statistics”.

“I would not want to see a reduction in service in order to cover the cost of bin replacement,” he said.