Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Wheelie Bin Robbery!

As many people know to their cost if you lose your Wheelie Bin (lose being another way of saying if you get it nicked!) then you have to pay for a replacement. However one enterprising householder thought the £60 his local council was charging for a replacement was a bit steep so he went on line and bought an almost identical bin from Germany for £27, including delivery.

The German bins are identical except the lids slope slightly. They are made to the same European standard, have a lid and wheels and can be lifted up on the council machine and emptied. Unfortunately his local Council are refusing to empty the bin because it doesn’t have their name moulded into it.

The case is now being investigated by the EU Commission as an illegal barrier to free trade. The Council in question made £46,000 last year for supplying bins but stressed the charge was for delivery of the bin to the householder, not for the bin itself. Asked if a householder could therefore avoid the delivery charge by collecting the bins from its depot themselves this was deemed to be impossible because of 'health and safety' risks.

Mind you £60 for delivery of a free bin from the local Council Depot or £27 to buy a bin from Germany, including delivery. If the Council’s costs are really that high then no wonder Council taxes are going through the roof. Of course the Council’s costs are probably not that high but replacement wheelie bins are a “nice little earner” for the Town Hall.

PS Checked with Hartlepool Council and the charge for a replacement bin (Green or Brown) is £10. Possibly that's a bit cheap! How about that, me saying Councils should charge more!

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