DARLINGTON councillors say they are confident that the rolling out of wheelie bins throughout the town will be a success.
A report into the introduction of the bins was presented to the council’s cabinet today (Tuesday, February 5).
A Review Group, set up by the council’s Place Scrutiny Committee, made recommendations to ensure that the June roll-out of the bins is as smooth as possible.
Issues such as ownership of bins and where they should be put out for collection were addressed, and a commitment was made by the council to continue liaising with the public.
Presenting the report’s findings to the cabinet, Councillor Dorothy Long said: “I feel like we tackled it in a really quite robust and challenging way.
“Quite a few of us came from a position of scepticism, especially those who represent wards where there are a lot of terrace streets.
“We gave officers a grilling on some occasions.”
Recommendations of the report include; that individual consultation and visits to residents continue, that monitoring of recycling rates is undertaken to assess the wheelie bins’ impact and that the use of collection points be kept to a minimum.
Coun Long also clarified that the wheelie bins would be council property so residents would not be expected to cover the costs of replacement if damage or theft occurred.
Responding to the report, Coun Ian Haszeldine said: “I think once the bins have been embedded, we will wonder what all the fuss was about.
“Hopefully, they will reduce the level of litter picking needed, and reduce the mess made by the bags splitting, dogs picking through them and all the rubbish flying around in the wind.”
There was unwelcome news for some residents – particularly the elderly and those living alone – who would prefer to have a smaller bin, as it was confirmed that every household will receive the larger 240 litre container.
Coun Nick Wallis, cabinet member for Leisure and Local Environment said it was a “logistical nightmare” to try and offer a smaller size given households moved, particularly in rented accommodation.
Coun Long said that the size issue could be helped by neighbours arranging to share a bin, or by residents only putting theirs out when it was full rather than every week.
She also confirmed that the council’s current recycling policy of one tub and one bag should continue so that the number of wheelie bins per household does not increase beyond one.
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