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Axe Sunderland’s ‘totally unfair’ £25 replacement wheelie bin fee

December 9, 2021 2:32 PM
By Paul Edgeworth

Opposition Liberal Democrats on Wearside are calling on Sunderland Council to remove the £25 charge for a replacement wheelie bin where it has been stolen or set on fire, after councillors secured a review of the fee imposed by the City Council.

Paul Edgeworth with wheelie bins

Councillor Paul Edgeworth

Sunderland Council's ruling Cabinet will now review the current policy where residents are charged £25 for a replacement bin no matter that the circumstances and make a decision on any changes to the current system in the new year.

The City's Liberal Democrat opposition believe that the charge is unfair when someone's bin has been stolen or set on fire through no fault of their own - or when someone moves into a new property and there is no wheelie bin.

The £25 fee has also been blamed for flytipping and the common occurrence of recycling bins contaminated with general waste going uncollected and being left in streets and back lanes for months where residents are unable or unwilling to pay for a replacement bin.

The Council's Executive Director responsible for Environmental Services, Graham Scanlon, confirmed the review after being questioned by Grindon and Thorney Close councillor Paul Edgeworth at a meeting of the council's Economic Prosperity Committee on Tuesday (7th December).

Lib Dem councillors had previously asked the Leader of the Council to scrap the £25 fee at the last meeting of all 75 city councillors in November but no such commitment was given.

Commenting, Lib Dem Councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Paul Edgeworth said:

"People aren't careless with their bins and it is a real kick in the teeth to have to shell out £25 for these replacements. Council bosses must scrap this unfair bin tax where a bin has been stolen or set on fire, thereby helping everyone to be able to do the right thing and get rid of waste and recycling responsibly.

"It is totally unfair that people are being charged for a new bin when through no fault of their own it has been stolen or set on fire. Some residents who have suffered repeated thefts are racking up huge bills just so they can get rid of their rubbish. It is absurd.

"It is also a huge problem when people move into a new property and there are no wheelie bins there. They are then faced with a £50 fee to get a waste bin and a recycling bin, which many people simply cannot afford.

"It is no wonder that there are problems with fly-tipping, overflowing bins and recycling bins contaminated with black bags when this Council insists on an unfair £25 charge for a new bin even if its not your fault.

"Crucially, we shouldn't see a return to the previous system where people had to prove their innocence and get a crime number from the police before a replacement bin was issued. This was counterproductive, a waste of police time and artificially skewed crime statistics and home insurance premiums."