1:10pm Friday 4th May 2012
Sir, – Profligate Darlington Council is contemplating "rolling over and playing dead" on some spurious suggestion by the Health and Safety Executive that picking up Darlington's black rubbish bin bags leads to injury. Where are the injury statistics to back up what is just a suggestion?
The front-page article in the Darlington & Stockton Times (County Durham edition) highlighting the possible cost of introducing wheelie bins for the collection of rubbish only scratches the surface of possible costs.
We are all used to the council miscalculating costs – the pedestrianisation of the town centre and the eastern corridor being just two examples.
While trying to blame EU procurement rules, which no doubt are onerous and bureaucratic, for the cost of the wheelie bins no mention is made of the cost of adapting the refuse lorries to handle the bins or even purchasing new lorries. Nor is there any mention that the collection of rubbish will take considerably longer and be more costly because of having to wheel out individual bins, attach them to the lorry, unattach them once empty and then return them to where they started. Presumably to ensure that the collections are completed on time, more people will have to be employed and more lorries purchased, further questioning the efficacy of the proposal. Many areas are suffering cuts due to lack of funds, so why introduce this more expensive scheme?
A full wheelie bin will weigh considerably more than a full black bin bag. The bin men will be exposed to more risk when trying to collect and return a wheelie bin from a disabled person's home. Coun Wallis, never one to have a good grasp of his brief, states considerable amount of planning work has gone into obtaining the best deal. Surely he would have been better employed checking the efficiency and practicality of the scheme before investigating deals? Cart and horse springs to mind but sadly that is par for the course for this council.
R R BURGES Merrybent, Darlington.
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