Anger grows over thousands of split bins in Solihull

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More than 6,000 recycling bins – which have split open as a result of a widespread manufacturing fault – are still waiting to be replaced in Solihull.

The borough council was this week urged to get “a grip” on the problem by a Green councillor, with householders being warned they could face a wait of up to 20 working days for a new bin to be delivered.

To date around 10,500 of the wheelie bins have been replaced around the borough, after it became apparent that a defect meant the items were prone to split.

Residents’ frustrations have grown in recent weeks, after some were notified they would have to use other containers on the grounds that it wasn’t safe to lift “severely damaged” bins into recycling lorries.

While Solihull Council has insisted that it is looking at ways to cut waiting times for replacements, the local authority has been accused of being slow to respond to the problem – which began to escalate in December last year.

Cllr Tim Hodgson (Green, Shirley West) said that he had received dozens of complaints from residents in recent weeks.

“I have had lots of people come to me angry about the backlog. It is a mess,” he said.

“Personally what I would like to see is more resources allocated to get this sorted.

“We could see a dip in recycling because of this [and] it does have an effect on people as well.”

He argued that the council’s contact centre was still having to “fire fight” and that more could be done to keep residents up-to-date with what is happening.

Cllr James Burn, leader of the Green group, said he accepted the fault which caused so many bins – including his own – to fail could not have been foreseen.

Although he suggested that the council’s decision to contract out waste collection services to Amey, a private company, may have left it with less flexibility than if it had chosen to keep the service in-house.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The bins which are severely damaged cannot be safely lifted onto the vehicles to be emptied; therefore we are asking residents to leave their recycling in alternative suitable containers for collection.

“These can be woven shopping bags, plastic boxes or clear sacks, and residents can collect the clear sacks from our walk-in centres and libraries.”

Cllr Ade Adeyemo (Lib Dem, Lyndon), who has also received complaints about the situation, said he intended to raise the issue at Full Council next month and ask about the financial implications.

“People are asking why their bins are not being collected and I’m having to explain to them,” he said.

To request a replacement brown recycling bin from Solihull Council, go to: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Rubbish-recycling/refuseissues/Split-Brown-Bin

Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/anger-grows-over-thousands-split-14832754