DARLINGTON residents could be forgiven for thinking that £60,000 for ten litter bins is vastly expensive (Echo, Aug 14).

If only they would look at the detail.

The £6,000 per bin includes installation and five years of maintenance. Holding eight times more rubbish than a standard bin, the new bins will need emptying perhaps three times a week instead of two or three times a day for a normal town centre bin.

These are solar-powered compactor bins that send a signal when they need emptying, again reducing collection costs.

They will provide wifi coverage, measure footfall and levels of pollution and could carry advertising.

Look beyond the headlines, see the full picture, and there is a strong argument that these new bins are in fact good value for money.

Keeping our town centre tidy and litter-free is an essential job, not a luxury or a waste of money. Of course, if people did not drop litter in the first place...

Chris Foote Wood, Darlington.