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Fresh criticism of Darlington wheelie-bin scheme
COUNCILLORS have been accused of “putting the cart before the horse” over a controversial decision to introduce wheelie bins in Darlington.
Darlington Borough Council have purchased thousands of new bins to replace current black bag collections, with the scheme set to be rolled out in June next year.
The plan has courted criticism from councillors, who highlighted concerns at a full council meeting about the cost of the 240-litre and 140-litre bins, and the practicality of wagons accessing small alleyways to collect rubbish.
However, Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said resenting councillors were “playing politics” on the proposals, which could jeopardise the scheme, and called on members to speak to residents and identify suitable collection routes.
Coun Alan Macnab, ward member for North Road, said the authority had been short-sighted with its decision.
He said: “This seems to be a cart before the horse situation, the council has gone out and ordered the bins and now they are seeing if there are any problems.
“There are massive issues in North Road and the new bin wagon will not be able to get down the back alleys.
“Where are the people in terraced houses going to put their bins if they have no gardens?
“You should really have looked at the system first to see if we needed the bins or could stay with the black bags.”
Coun Charles Johnson, who represents Hummersknott ward, said the cost of the bins could have been absorbed into other services.
He said: “The bins really don’t change anything, there isn’t a great problem with the black bags and this money could have been spent on things like getting grass cut.”
However, Coun Wallis, said councillors’ resistance could potentially backfire on residents.
He said: “Some members might want to play politics but if they do, they will be letting the people in their wards down.
“The bins are tried and tested and we now have to get the right routes for collection and councillors must consult with residents.
“I don’t want anyone coming back next year saying they have not been listened to.”