Cllr Owens with blue box and bin

Council must act justly over blue box users

Cllr Adrian Owens with a WLBC blue box and blue bin

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, said “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. He said, “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.

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 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.”