Thousands of faulty wheelie bins across Solihull are splitting apart
Thousands of complaints have been received by council chiefs after wheelie bins across Solihull began to split apart.
In total, almost 10,000 of the brown recycling bins have been collected for replacement since March 2015, with it becoming apparent the bins are prone to crack as a result of a “manufacturing fault”.
The number of enquiries has increased dramatically since December – with the local authority currently receiving around 100 calls a day from residents.
It’s believed the “unprecedented” increase in requests may be the result of recent cold weather, which can make plastic polymers more brittle.
While the exact cause of the defect is unknown, the bins which are being rolled out as replacements are made from a different type of plastic, to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the problem.
At this month’s Full Council meeting, members were assured that the local authority was continuing to work as quickly as possible to resolve the problem, although the council recently advised that it was allowing longer times to complete delivery requests.
Cllr Ade Adeyemo (Lib Dem, Lyndon) noted that while the supplier had agreed to cover the costs of the replacements, the council had to do the “leg-work” dealing with the problem and that, in conjunction with waste contractor Amey, an extra delivery crew had been put on to help cope with the backlog.
In response, Cllr Alison Rolf, cabinet member for the environment and housing, said: “The company that have supplied them accept that there is a fault with these bins and are replacing them.
“As well … we are getting extra bins to compensate for some of the costs that we are incurring because we are having to deliver the bins out to people and collect the old ones in.”
Cllr James Burn, leader of Solihull’s Green group, whose own wheelie bin developed a “ginormous crack”, suggested the council should promote an email address or contact form to reduce the enquiries going through to the contact centre and limit the costs of logging calls. Cllr Rolf confirmed she would look into this.
Speaking this week, Cllr Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) said that damaged bins were visible “on every street” and suggested some residents may have held off contacting the council because they were unaware of the fault and thought they may have caused the damage themselves.
“As you go round Chelmsley Wood you can see [bins] split all the way down the side and some people have used brown tape to try to put them back together,” he said.
He said he was concerned that the issue could have an impact on recycling rates if the householders affected decided to start putting materials in with their general waste.
The report presented to Full Council said that recycling crews would start putting stickers on damaged bins, advising that a free replacement was available, once the number of enquiries had “stabilised”.
The council hopes that the requests may now start to fall with the arrival of milder weather.
If your bin has split, a replacement can be ordered by calling Solihull Council’s contact centre on 0121 704 8000. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Rubbish-recycling/replacementcontainers
Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/thousands-faulty-wheelie-bins-across-14571326