’Massive backlog’ as council struggles to replace faulty wheelie bins across Solihull

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Solihull residents whose brown wheelie bins have cracked open are now facing waits of more than a month for a replacement.

Last week, the borough council apologised for the delays facing households whose bin had split as a result of a widespread manufacturing fault.

Previously the local authority had advised that residents would have to wait up to 20 working days for their replacement.

Thousands of brown recycling bins have been splitting apart across Solihull.

But with thousands of bins having failed around the borough, it has now admitted that the sheer number of deliveries – and a limited number of new receptacles – has meant that it is currently unable to meet the target.

With bin crews having already advised that they will be unable to empty bins which are badly damaged, citing health and safety reasons, residents waiting on a replacement have been told to use an alternative container.

Cllr Tim Hodgson (Green, Shirley West) said that the ongoing problems meant that fed-up residents were continuing to get in touch.

“People are understandably frustrated by it all,” he said.

“As things stand there is still a massive backlog … I just think it could have been handled better.”

He said the Green group would continue to keep a close eye on the situation, amid mounting fears that large numbers of bins would continue to split and that the problems would ultimately affect Solihull’s recycling figures.

Cllr Tony Dicicco, the cabinet member for the environment and housing, thanked residents for ‘their continued patience and support in these unprecedented circumstances’.

“I understand that the issue with brown recycling bins is causing a lot of frustration for residents and please be assured we are working hard to deal with the situation,” he said.

“From this week, new households who receive a damaged bin sticker will get a supply of clear sacks left on the handle of their broken bin.

“We also have clear sacks available for people to collect from our walk-in centres, libraries, Council House reception and Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we are now unable to meet the 20 working day limit we had previously set. Our proactive approach in issuing bin stickers and logging split bins for residents has meant that demand has increased over the last few weeks.

“The current supply of new bins from the manufacturer is not able to meet this demand, and as such we have to be realistic in what we can achieve with the same numbers of new bins. We hope to be able to increase this supply soon, and have been looking at the logistics of storing and distributing any additional bins.”

Aside from using the clear bags which are now being delivered, residents can leave their recycling in plastic tubs, their old recycling box if they have it, a hessian/jute bag or cardboard boxes, while the weather is dry.

At the most recent Full Council meeting it was revealed that the costs of replacing the defective bins had already reached around £85,000.

During the meeting Cllr Dicicco said that the local authority would be discussing a compensation package with the supplier to cover the expense incurred to date and that racked up in future.

Solihull Council has previously admitted that in “the worst case scenario”, all 76,000 of the bins supplied in 2014 would need to be replaced.

If your brown recycling bin has split, you can request a replacement here: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Rubbish-recycling/refuseissues/Split-Brown-Bin