Abuse of wheelie-bin system prompts council review

Wheelie-bins put out on the street for emptying by Broxtowe Borough Council.
Wheelie-bins put out on the street for emptying by Broxtowe Borough Council.

Residents in the Eastwood and Kimberley area are conning the council into believing their wheelie-bins have not been emptied.

In fact, they have forgotten to put them out on time or they have filled them with the wrong kind of rubbish, such as putting general waste in the recycling bin, or vice-versa, in which case they would not be emptied.

Now the council is considering scrapping its policy of refuse collectors automatically returning to properties to empty bins that were originally ‘missed’.

Broxtowe Borough Council stresses that “only a small number of people” are misusing the system. And it insists it will not make changes until there has been a full public consultation.

But officers are concerned that their dishonesty is costing the council valuable time and money, estimated at about £100,000 per year at present.

The changes to the council’s missed-bin policy are all part of a comprehensive review of its recycling service.

A spokeswoman said: “The current system is being abused by a small amount of people who regularly report their bin as missed when, in fact, they have not put it out on time or they have contaminated it.

“Currently the council will return to collect and empty a missed bin, irrespective of the reason why it wasn’t emptied -- for example, if the bin was not put out on time for collection.

“As part of the review, changes are proposed which would mean the council only returning to a property to empty a bin if it has been genuinely missed by the collection crew.

“This would enable resources to be used more effectively and to help encourage residents to put the right things in the right bin to increase recycling rates.”

The council is confident it will be able to ascertain which bins have been genuinely missed thanks to technology that has been installed on refuse collecting lorries.

Before the changes are made, the council wants to hear what the residents think. “Your views are important to us,” added the spokeswoman. “Please visit www.broxtowe.gov.uk/missed-bins-policy to have your say by Friday, September 22, or contact us by phone on 0115 9173141.

“The results of the consultation will be presented to the leisure and environment committee on Wednesday, September 27 for a decision on the change to the policy.”