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  1. Published on: 15/05/2018 06:43 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    The Borough council must respond justly to residents who use the blue box to recycle plastics, glass and cans rather than charge them for a change of the council’s making, say council Independents, Our West Lancashire.

    OWL councillor, Adrian Owens, told QLocal yesterday: "We’ve been contacted by several residents who currently use the blue box to recycle glass, plastics and cans and who are telling us that the council is wanting them to change to a blue bin, and worse still to have to pay for the bin as well.”

    The long-serving councillor said that charging residents £25 for a bin when the council was forcing this change was unjust.

    “When the blue bin was introduced, many residents, especially in smaller households or with limited space chose and were given the option to remain with the blue box. Now the council is forcing the switch to a blue bin it is unjust to demand £25," he added.

    "Many will understandably refuse to pay this charge which is unfair as it is the council which is enforcing the change. What this means is that more glass, plastic and cans will end up in the general waste while recycling will reduce in these households at a time when we should be boosting recycling of plastics and other items.”

    Scott ward activist, Jane Thompson agreed, saying, “I am sure residents would have opted for a blue bin in the first place and not kept their blue box if they knew they are now having to pay £25 for one”.

    One of the residents who complained to Our West Lancashire, Wendy Hudson of Parbold said, “As I live alone and have very little recycling, I opted to keep my blue box. This, it seems, will no longer be emptied and I would have to purchase a blue wheelie bin for £25 if I want to keep on recycling. As this was not made clear at the time and probably hadn’t even been considered, I think that the boxes should be replaced free of charge. After all, they would have been freely supplied had people in my position asked to receive one at the time, therefore this is merely a deferment of delivery.”

    Cllr Owens said that this latest change was being slipped in at the same time as the change with green and brown bins. He said it had not been included in officer briefings to councillors before the decision to change was made at February’s council meeting. He added that he had now written to those responsible at the council over the matter.

    “Concerned residents are complaining to us that they have written to the council 2-3 weeks ago about their concerns and have received no reply. It’s time for the council to say that if the new system requires a household to change from a blue box to a blue bin then the council will provide that bin free of charge. Anything else would be grossly unfair.”

    Among residents' complaints are:

    “As I live alone and have very little recycling, I opted to keep my blue box. This, it seems, will no longer be emptied and I would have to purchase a blue wheelie bin for £25 if I want to keep on recycling. As this was not made clear at the time and probably hadn’t even been considered, I think that the boxes should be replaced free of charge. After all, they would have been freely supplied had people in my position asked to receive one at the time, therefore this is merely a deferment of delivery.”

    “When the coloured bins were introduced, we opted for a blue box rather than a bin as we have very little in the way of plastic, tin and glass to recycle. However we now find that they are stopping collection from blue boxes and will only empty blue bins (unless access is difficult, which ours isn't). This means that because of us trying to be responsible and only have a small box instead of a large wheely bin, we now have to fork out £25 for a bin if we want our plastics etc recycling! Blue bins should be provided free of charge to those who opted for a box at the start.”

    "We currently use a blue box to recycle tins and plastics. We remained on this system when given the choice to keep the existing box or change to a blue wheelie bin in 2014 as we felt we did not need a wheelie bin. At that time it was not mentioned that if we were to change in the future we would be subjected to a charge or even mentioned as a possibility.

    We have now read in the leaflet provided by the council that they are changing all blue boxes to a wheelie bin system except where circumstances do not allow. We live on a main road so assume we will have to have a wheelie bin although we have not been specifically told this.

    It would also appear that we will have to pay for a change introduced by the council and which we have not asked for.

    I have sent two emails to Michelle Williams at the council querying this and asking why households who chose to remain on the blue box system are now being treated less favourably than those households who went to the wheelie bin system. If we did not have to pay then, why are being charged now when the council gave no indication of this originally. I also feel that I should have had a response to my email.

    It will cause me a problem because l still use the blue box or my plastics, tins and bottles, the leaflet pushed through my door regarding the new system states that if you don't have a green bin they will give me one free, however if you don't have a Blue bin l can buy one!, I think this very unfair. I was not told at the time the blue wheelie bins came out that the blue boxes would be faized out. l kept my blue box because it was big enough for the amount of plastics, tins and bottles l have to recycle.

    I have contacted councillor Wright, who said he couldn't help! he passed me into Councillor Wilkie who didn't even acknowledge my email.

    I will not be buying a blue bin as believe that they should be free, l am not the only person who believes this, and many of them are pensioners."
     

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