Residents in Louth, unable to afford council bins, are reportedly taking maggot-infested black bags to the tip themselves.
Labour Louth Town Councillors Lynne Cooney and Alex Cox said what can be a £79-plus charge by East Lindsey District Council for the provision and delivery of bins was “unfair” and “unjust”.
They have set up a petition in a bid to persuade ELDC to drop its charges and provide free bins for residents.
The recently-elected duo jumped into action after Councillor Cooney was contacted by a resident who had recently moved into a part-rent, part-buy house and despite working 40-hours a week could not afford it.
“It was really upsetting for her,” explained Councillor Cooney.
She was buying black-bins and taking the rubbish to the tip herself and she said there was times there were maggots in the bin bags that had spilt out into her car.
The pair have tried contacting East Lindsey District Council’s waste management team, but have so far been unable to come up with a solution.
Under ELDC’s current system new home owners have to pay for both a domestic and recycling bin at the cost of £27 each, plus a further £25 delivery charge.
Additionally, garden waste bins costs £27, plus the £40 annual fee for collections.
“I think it’s really unfair on those on the lowest incomes, ” said Councillor Cox
“If you’ve got a single mother moving in and then you sting them with a £106-plus bill, that’s hitting those in austerity,” he added
He would have liked to have seen payment plans being used and initially suggested free bins for low-income households but would now like the council to drop the charges altogether.
The councillors would like to see either developers asked to foot the bill, or for ELDC to use some of its reserves.
The councillors believe the charge has led to higher rates of fly-tipping, environmental harm and enforcement costs for the council as well as a decrease in recycling rates.
They are also looking to raise attention of the campaign outside of the Louth area – including areas such as Horncastle and Skegness – as well as elsewhere in the country.
Portfolio Holder for Operational Services, Councillor Sandra Harrison, said the charged for bins at new builds had been in place for a number of years.
“The council does pass on the costs it incurs for providing wheelie bins to new properties, as permitted in legislation.
“This cost is to provide the property with bins and once purchased they remain allocated to the property indefinitely.
These arrangements have been in place for two years and recognise the financial challenge the Council faces.
“There is no evidence to suggest the charge has led to an increase in fly-tipping.”
The petition is available here and needs 50 signatures to be discussed at ELDC.
The closing date is September 30, 2019.
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