Replacing faulty recycling bins in Solihull has so far cost the council more than £85,000, it has been revealed.
Responding to a question during a council meeting last night councillor Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for the Environment and Housing, said that approximately £85,500 has been spent so far replacing around 20,000 bins.
And he also admitted that, in the worst-case scenario, the council could be forced to replace the remaining 56,000 bins in the borough.
In December last year it became clear that several of the brown recycling bins supplied to the council by manufacturer MGB were faulty . Many were prone to splitting, while several could not be lifted on to recycling lorries.
Councillor Dicicco admitted last night that the council were still not fully aware of the scale of the problem.
“From January to June this year we estimate we’ve spent in the region of around £85,500 on dealing with split brown bins, and this includes additional delivery crews, connect staff time, and environmental services and administration staff time,” he said.
“It is difficult to ascertain the number of damaged bins in circulation, but the bins being stickered by the crews are bins that cannot be safely lifted onto the vehicle lift, and that we need to replace.
“However, we know that there are also bins in circulation that are split but are still capable of being lifted. These will also need to be replaced in time.
“So it is difficult to estimate exactly how many bins are damaged, as this is a moving figure.
“The worst case scenario is that all of the bins provided by the supplier in 2014 will split at sometime in the future. They provided 76,000 bins in 2014, therefore there are potentially a further 56,000 bins that will need to be replaced at some point.”
While the council has had to foot the bill for the replacements so far, Cllr Dicicco assured the meeting that supplier MGB would be covering the costs in the long term.
He added that measures have been taken to assist residents whose bins have yet to be replaced, with the current waiting time at least 20 working days.
“We are in continuing discussions with the provider regarding support and compensation, and obviously moving forward we will be discussing a compensation package with MGB, to cover the expenditure that we’ve incurred so far and that we will incur in the future,” he said.
“But we have made recycling sacks available from all local libraries and walk-in centres, and also available at the civic suite for members to collect to take to residents who can’t get them from the local library.”