Shock cost of wheelie bins

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REPLACING wheelie bins has cost Wigan Council more than £400,000.

Figures released through a Freedom of Information request have revealed that in the past three financial years Wigan Council has spent £406,086 on replacing the coloured recycling bins across the borough.

Wigan Metro says that the bins cost between £15 and £20 to replace dependent on size, colour and the amount ordered. With an average cost of £17.50 that means that in the past three years, Wigan Council has replaced approximately 23,204 bins. However, the council say the reasons for replacing wheelie bins takes into account many different factors.

Wigan Council’s head of Safer, Cleaner, Greener Neighbourhoods, Sally Wolstencroft, said: “The council replaces wheelie bins for a number of reasons.

“Very occasionally they can get damaged as part of the emptying process, particularly if they are very heavy.

“They are durable and have quite a long lifespan but can eventually succumb to wear and tear.

“One area where we do experience problems is deliberate damage and theft. If residents leave bins out between collections they run greater risk of being damaged, set on fire or stolen.

“We expect residents to take responsibility for their bins and help us to reduce the cost to our borough of replacement bins.

“We would urge residents to number their bins and take them back inside the boundary of their property to keep them safe.

“We would also urge residents not to overfill their bins or put heavy or unauthorised material such as builders’ rubble inside them.”

However, Wiganers who need their wheelie bins replacing are better off than many in other parts of the UK.

On Teeside, residents are asked to contribute £25 towards each new bin.

And the council says those who refuse to cough up will be fined.

After a four-week period, those who refuse to pay will be issued with a £110 fixed penalty notice, which drops to £60 for prompt payment.

Non-payment may result in court action – where fines, upon conviction, can reach £1,000.

Earlier this month arsonists torched more than 3,000 new wheelie bins at a council depot in Atherton causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Police are still investigating the incident.