Lib Dems call to remove Sunderland's £25 replacement wheelie bin fee in certain circumstances

Sunderland’s Liberal Democrats are calling on the city’s council to remove the £25 charge for a replacement wheelie bin, where it has been stolen or set on fire.

The call comes after the opposition councillors secured a review of the fee imposed by Sunderland City Council, which applies for a replacement bin regardless of circumstances.

Lib Dem councillors say they believe the charge is unfair when someone’s bin has been stolen, set on fire or when bins are missing on moving to a new property.

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Graham Scanlon, the council’s Executive Director responsible for Environmental Services, confirmed the review at a meeting on Tuesday, December 7.

Councillor Paul Edgeworth, of Sunderland Lib Dems.

Lib Dem councillors previously called for the £25 fee to be scrapped in certain circumstances at a full council meeting last month.

Cllr Paul Edgeworth, who represents Grindon and Thorney Close, said having to “shell out” for replacements was a “real kick in the teeth”.

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He continued: “It is totally unfair that people are being charged for a new bin when through no fault of their own it has been stolen or set on fire.

"Some residents who have suffered repeated thefts are racking up huge bills just so they can get rid of their rubbish. It is absurd.

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“It is also a huge problem when people move into a new property and there are no wheelie bins there. They are then faced with a £50 fee to get a waste bin and a recycling bin, which many people simply cannot afford.”

Cllr Edgeworth said removing the charge in these circumstances would assist with fly-tipping and help residents dispose of their waste responsibly.

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Cllr Claire Rowntree, Sunderland City Council’s Deputy leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, confirmed that the cost of replacement bins forms part of a wider review into waste and recycling services at the local authority.

She said: “As a listening council we always keep our services under review.

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“Now, and with the national Environment Bill 2021, the cost of replacement bins is part of a wider review of all aspects of the council’s waste and recycling services.

“I would also remind residents that if they are tenants then it is the responsibility of landlords to help ensure that they have the appropriate facilities to dispose and recycle waste.”

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