SILHILLIANS are up in arms after being told there is a seven-week wait to replace split recycling bins.
On Friday (August 17) Solihull council announced the original 20-day wait for replacing faulty wheelie bins once a request is lodged has more than doubled.
Some residents have been waiting months for replacements and have slammed the council’s reaction to the debacle.
As we reported, a ‘manufacturing fault’ was uncovered in the borough’s 76,000 plastic brown bins distributed in March 2015.
Around 16,000 bins have been replaced which has already cost the taxpayer around £100,000.
The council has received 27,000 requests for replacements bins since the problem emerged.
Councillor Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for environment and housing, says the new timescale is in part due to increased demand due to the council’s ‘proactive approach’.
He also insisted the council’s alternative collection methods are working as recycling rates have not dropped.
Residents commented on Facebook in response to the news of seven-week waits. One wrote: “Really? I have been waiting since my first phone call on March 19. My bin has been at the end of the cul de sac since April as it is ignored if I leave it on my drive.
“The neighbours have had a lovely view of my bin for weeks. How about a reduced council tax?”
Another frustrated resident said: “I have been waiting for my brown bin since May 18. I ordered one for myself and one for my son in law’s house. He had his in June and he only lives down the road from me.
“Yet still I am waiting for mine. I have rung the council three times and it says there is a delay on them being delivered. Its disgusting.”
One resident said bin men were also at fault for splits and added: “I have a lot of medical waste for my severely disabled brother and don’t have enough room for rubbish as it is, never mind backlogs of it.”
People have spoken out over severe build-ups of recyclable waste as bin men suddenly refused to take collections in June.
The bins with particularly large splits have been labelled health and safety risks and marked with stickers while alternative collection methods have been offered by the council.
The council says the cost of the replacement bins will be covered by MGB – a wheelie bin manufacturer.
But additional labour and administrative costs make up the price shouldered by the taxpayer – which the council told us was £85,000 last month.
But an arrangement is being sought by the council so the ‘full cost’ will be paid by the manufacturer and not the taxpayer.
Coun Diccico said: “Solihull council continues to work hard to replace all the brown recycling bins that have failed due to a product fault.
“We are committed to recovering the full cost of replacing damaged bins from the manufacturer so that there will be no cost to Solihull council taxpayers.
“It is encouraging to note that despite the split bins, our recycling rates have not dropped.
“It also shows that the alternative measures that we have put in place including using clear sacks are working.
“With the number of notifications of damaged bins now starting to reduce, we are hopeful that we will be able to replace bins within the 35 working day timescale.
“This increase in delivery time is due to a variety of factors.
“Our proactive approach in issuing bin stickers and logging split bins for residents has led to an increase in demand.
“We also need to ensure that we operate safely within the constraints of the depot, so this limits the number of bins that we can manage at any one time – however we now have in place systems which optimise the use of available space.
“This new timescale for deliveries will be communicated widely in order to manage residents’ expectations, and stickers will be updated to reflect this.
“As ever, I’d like to thank residents for their patience at this time.”