Damaged Bins in Solihull Are Making Residents Crack Up
Thousands of residents in Solihull have complained to the council after their wheelie bins began to split apart. Almost 10,000 brown recycling bins have been replaced since 2015 because of a manufacturing fault which led to cracks appearing. The council are still getting 100 calls per day about the bins and the number has increased dramatically since December.
The council believes that the cold weather has played a part, as it makes the plastic polymers used to construct the bins more brittle. But the exact cause of the defect is not known. The replacement bins that are being given to residents are made from a different type of plastic to make sure the problem doesn’t occur again.
At the council’s last meeting, councillors discussed that they were working as quickly as possible to solve the problem. The supplier of the bins is meeting the cost of replacing the bins, but the council say that’ve had to deal with organising the distribution of the replacement bins and they’ve also had to work with the private waste firm Amey to help deliver the huge numbers of bins.
The council added that they are considering setting up a dedicated email address or contact form so that less calls are going through to the overwhelmed contact centre.
There have been complaints about cracked bins appearing on every street, and some residents have not complained to the council as they thought that maybe they had caused the damage themselves. Some residents say their bins have split all the way down the side and they’ve had to use brown tape to put them back together.
There are concerns that the problem could affect recycling rates as some residents have been forced to put their recycling in with their general waste.
Refuse collectors are going to start putting stickers on any damaged bins, informing residents that a free replacement is available, and the council hope that this, plus the arrival of warmer weather will slow down the number of complaints they are getting.