January 16, 2020 12.24 pm This story is over 46 months old

Boston council to offer free replacement bins after charges row

Councillors wanted replacement fees scrapped

Boston Borough Council is set to offer to replace damaged wheelie bins free of charge following a row over replacement costs.

Senior councillors have been recommended to approve the measure which would see a replacement green or blue bin offered if the damage is through no fault of the resident.

It follows a row which saw councillors call for a £25 charge on replacement bins to be scrapped.

The authority clamped down on the costs after it was revealed that it only recouped £58,000 on replacement bins since 2013 when the fees were brought in.

Councillors warned that the charge would “hit the poorest hardest” and referred the matter back to the council’s cabinet.

Now, senior members are expected to approve a plan to offer replacement bins free of charge.

Figures earlier this year revealed the council had spent £162,000 on new green and blue bins since 2013, but had only recouped £58,000 – leaving a £104,000 gap.

Authority officials said a “significant proportion” of the money was down to replacing residents’ bins that had been damaged by its own workforce during collections.

However, councillors were told in September 2019 that since the fees were introduced the replacement bin charge “had not been consistently or robustly applied”.

As a result, bosses began a crackdown on inconsistent charges for bins in April 2019 but were met with confusion and anger from residents.

Councillors called for the fee to be scrapped, but senior members warned that savings would have to come from elsewhere.

Councillor Yvonne Stevens, portfolio holder for environment at the council, said the cost encouraged people to take more care of the bins and removing it could affect other services.

“When your fence gets broken because someone’s fallen into it… you end up fixing your fence,” she said.

“So unfortunately, if your bin gets damaged you’re liable to replace that.”

Senior councillors will make a decision on the recommendation at a cabinet meeting on January 22.

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