Bin or bag?
A COUNCIL at the centre of a row regarding its refuse collection process has said providing residents with wheelie bins would cost £600,000. Over the last month a row has erupted between Stevenage Borough Council and some of its residents with each blami
A COUNCIL at the centre of a row regarding its refuse collection process has said providing residents with wheelie bins would cost £600,000.
Over the last month a row has erupted between Stevenage Borough Council and some of its residents with each blaming the other for blocking paths with black bin bags full of rubbish.
The council even went as far as keeping some residents "under surveillance".
One home owner, who took pictures of waste being left behind on her road, said: "I live in Colts Corner, just off The Paddocks, and am fed up with the amount of waste, often food, left behind following collection."
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Another mentioned having food, including a rotting chicken carcass, left in her garden and others have spotted rat droppings on their doorsteps and blame it on the mountains of bin bags.
Many residents believe wheelie bins are the way forward.
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However, Stevenage Council has responded by saying they are expensive and the earliest time they could install wheelie bins would be at the start of the next financial year in April 2007.
A spokesman said: "The set up costs are substantial.
"It is anticipated that at least one additional refuse freighter and crew would be required as the collection process is slower.
"Taking into account the costs of running an extra collection vehicle, this would definitely make the ongoing costs to the service higher than with black sacks.
"If a resident reports a spillage that has been missed, it should be dealt with before the end of the next working day at the latest."
This is in contrast with other local authorities who say wheelie bins are cheaper in the long term and they reduce scavenging by rodents.
A Mid Beds Council spokesman said: "Although the initial financial outlay for the bins was considerable their cost over time was cheaper than constantly replacing sacks.
"As the bins are not fox, rat or cat friendly it helps to avoid the spilling out of rubbish along the street, thus helping to improve the street scene."
North Hertfordshire District Council has supplied approximately 50,000 black wheelie bins to its residents.
A spokesman said: "Containing the refuse in a solid container eliminates smells and reduces scavenging by rodents and pets, and reduces the amount of plastic bags being sent to landfill - many of our black bins are the original ones issued nearly 20 years ago so there is an environmental saving in the use of non-renewable resources.