Click here to see the story on the EP website
By Rachel Clare
MORE than 22,000 black wheelie bins have been lost or damaged across Bristol in the last four years, new figures show.
This includes bins that have been burnt out or vandalised, those damaged by the collection crew and those that have simply gone missing.
The data – obtained by the Evening Post under the Freedom of Information Act – also showed the council spent £142,186 on the black bins from January 2010 to January 2011.
A higher amount – £252,245 – was spent on wheelie bins from 2009 to 2010 and £201,701 was spent on them from 2008 to 2009, adding up to £596,132 over four years.
The figures also showed that requests for new bins totalled more than 12,500 in the last four years.
Thousands of pounds has gone on replacing damaged or lost bins in Bristol
Bristol City Council claims it aims to provide a new or replacement wheelie bin to about four per cent of Bristol’s households each year.
“The amount of money the council spends on bins each year includes providing new properties with bins and replacements for lost or damaged bins,” said council spokeswoman Catherine Frankpitt.
“Bins are replaced for various reasons, such as reasonable wear and tear – bins have an average lifetime of ten years, damage and bins being stolen or burnt out.”
But residents who ask for a new bin will no longer receive the same 240-litre size bin which has been lost or damaged.
The size of the new bin now depends on how many people are living at the property.
This measure was brought in by the council last year to try and help reduce the amount of household waste being sent to landfill.
Under the new scheme, households with one or two occupants are issued with a 140-litre bin; households with three to five residents get a 180-litre bin and only households with six or more occupants receive the 240-litre bin.
The smaller bins are being introduced through a phased programme over the next few years – only being replaced when residents request a new bin or a replacement for a lost one.
Ms Frankpitt said: “The council has an obligation to ensure that bins are in safe and good working order for both householders and collection crews to use.
“Therefore, if a wheeled bin is damaged, we need to replace it to make it fit for use.
“Similarly, if a bin is lost or stolen, we need to provide another bin to ensure safe storage of waste for the householder.
“We always encourage residents to look after their bins and store them off the highway between collections, and we are keen to keep the costs of replacement bins as low as possible.
“However, if we didn’t provide new or replacement bins when residents need them, the cost for cleaning up the streets, dealing with potential littering and broken bags is likely to be higher than the cost of the bins themselves.”