‘Wheelie bin charge’ sparks anger

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Burnt-out bin in Liverpool © Radarsmum67/Flickr

Liverpool City Council’s proposed plan to introduce a £20 fine for lost, stolen or damaged wheelie bins has angered local residents.

The move comes with budget pressures mounting and the council hopes to raise over £120,000 from the new fines. At the moment bins are replaced for free, but with the possibility of fines some believe there could be an increase of fly-tipping.

Areas like Smithdown are notorious for having bins stolen and some students believe it is unacceptable to expect them to pay fines for others’ wrongdoing. A number of residents have to remove the black bags from their bins separately for refuse collection instead of leaving their bins out, in fear of them being stolen.

Craig Haughey, a quantity surveying student at LJMU who lives in Granville Road, said: “It happened to us last year over Halloween when our bins got stolen, we didn’t have to pay then, and if it happened again this year we wouldn’t pay either.”

John Ramsey, a long term resident in Smithdown, told JMU Journalism: “If some kids come along and steal your bin most people will say ‘no chance I’m paying this’ then the council have to end up paying to get it sorted.”

Among those opposing the Labour council’s plans is North West Liberal Party leader Cllr Steve Radford, who says alternatives can be used to cut £11million from the budget this year.

The idea of sponsorship on bins has already been voiced by Councillor Radford, who told JMU Journalism: “I think there’s a real case for selling advertising space on the bins. We already put stickers on them telling people when their collection is due so why not use the space to advertise local companies?”

Despite the concern over the new plans some areas of the region already charge for replacement bins, with Wirral being the most expensive at £37.

About Rory O'Reilly, JMU Journalism