Battle over bin collection rules

PUBLISHED: 19:42 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

ANDREW Fowler and the bin he bought from Germany

ANDREW Fowler and the bin he bought from Germany

A RESIDENT is reporting South Cambridgeshire District Council to the European Commission after it refused to collect his bargain green bins. People moving into South Cambridgeshire currently have to pay £60 to receive a green bin if they do not already ha

A RESIDENT is reporting South Cambridgeshire District Council to the European Commission after it refused to collect his bargain green bins.

People moving into South Cambridgeshire currently have to pay £60 to receive a green bin if they do not already have one. There is also a £60 charge for anyone wishing to purchase an additional bin.

Andrew Fowler, of Meldreth Road, Shepreth, has found similar bins available on the internet for £27, including delivery. However, the council has told him it will not collect them.

He said: "The council should be encouraging people to recycle to the maximum, so I don't understand why they won't collect these bins. I have no clue what they are doing.

"Why should you have to pay £60 for a bin when you can get one that's almost identical from Germany for £27? Even the UK supplier can get you one for £52."

Mr Fowler says that he is reporting the council to the European Commission for blocking trade.

He added: "We were thinking about setting up a company to supply people with cheaper bins, but what's the point if they won't get collected?

"The council are quite happy to supply you with an additional bin if you pay them £60, but not if it comes from elsewhere."

A spokesman for South Cambs District Council said: "We introduced a delivery charge for all new wheeled bins in April 2007 to help cover the cost of delivering bins to both new and existing properties.

"As part of encouraging residents to minimise the amount of waste they produce and maximise their recycling we have a strict additional bin policy under which all additional bin requests are individually assessed.

"We speak to residents about how they use their existing bins and make sure they are making full use of all the recycling opportunities available to them.

"This ensures that only those residents who absolutely need an additional bin are issued with one," she said.

The spokesman said that for £60, residents moving into the area receive a green and a black bin, together with two recycling boxes.

She added: "If any resident was simply able to buy an additional bin irrespective of need and have it collected, the amount of waste collected would in all likelihood increase, while the amount recycled would decrease as there would no longer be the same encouragement to minimise and recycle.

"This would cost all council tax payers more money in increased collection costs and possibly huge fines for not meeting strict recycling targets."

Cllr Susan van der Ven, district councillor for Meldreth and Shepreth, said: "Of course there has to be a limit of how much waste is collected per household, but I think this is a separate issue.

"I am worried that young families moving into the area are the one's who are going to be caught out by this.

"For someone on a low income £60 is a lot of money to ask for a bin," she said.

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