Who would have thought the common household bin could have become the subject of such fierce debate?! Yet this is exactly what has happened with the brainstorming of various bin taxes and incentives, with this week seeing the introduction of a penalty scheme for tardy removal of the offending items.
Durham County Council have introduced a pilot scheme, whereby households must ensure their wheelie bins are back off the streets within 12 hours of the binmen visiting. Failure will attract a £110 fine.
Unsurprisingly, the introduction of the penalty has been met with outrage with many pointing out that with working hours and social events, some people may not even arrive home until some time after the 12 hour time limit has expired. The council has defended the scheme, citing vandals starting fires in abandoned bins, as well as stolen bins adding around £200,000 to the council’s preventable costs each year.
However, with many households struggling to manage their debts, a whopping £110 fine is likely to have a huge impact on family finances, for a reason that many are describing as unfair. As a solution of bins being left out on public highways, some homeowners have suggested a return to the practices of days of yore, where binmen actually went into households’ gardens, but this is unlikely to win approval.
This latest scheme is just one of a long line of many to try and revamp the refuse collection system which has seen the introduction and scrapping of many ideas over recent years. Most recently, the insistence of homes using ‘slop bins’ for food scraps to aid in recycling seems now to have fallen by the wayside, along with fortnightly collections, although this is now in place in some areas. The latest scheme to see a revival is the proposal to charge families for throwing away too much, with 2.5 million households now boasting the dubious honour of microchipped wheelie bins.