DARLINGTON Borough Council has divided the town with plans to replace bin bags with wheelie bins. The Northern Echo highlights opposing views on the plans

FOR: Darlington borough councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member with responsibility for local environment

REFUSE collection is a council service that affects every household in Darlington.

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The arguments to switch to wheelie bins, however, were overwhelming. The council has come under pressure from the Health and Safety Executive to make our refuse collections safer for staff. Wheelie bins are the only way forward which fully meet the bill. Experience shows they lead to less street litter, as black bags are prone to attack from foxes and crows.

The health and safety argument was a compelling case for change, and is why it would have been wrong to engage in a lengthy and costly consultation process.

In fact, most people will notice little difference, apart from the physical presence of the bins.

There will be a standard sized bin for each household for all your rubbish, although you can request a larger bin if you have a larger family.

Some people might need extra help with their bins and we are ready to meet these extra needs. Your local councillors are best placed to listen to residents’ views, and I have asked them to liaise with officers after taking soundings around their wards.

We will work hard to make sure the new bins do not impede those in wheelchairs, for example, by encouraging residents to keep them strictly within the curtilage of their properties.

Wheelie bins operate successfully around the UK, and there is no reason why this shouldn’t be the case now in Darlington.

AGAINST: Gordon Pybus, chairman of Darlington Association on Disability

AS a wheelchair user, these changes will affect me, but I am more concerned about people across Darlington who have mobility issues or visual impairment.

There are two wheelie bin problems that people will face – those that will happen to people as homeowners, and the problems they will encounter as they try to make their way around the town.

Most houses will have a wheelie bin, but if you are in a wheelchair, the height of the bins will cause a problem.

It will be a struggle to put heavy rubbish in the bin They say we can have smaller bins, but why would you want that when they have already said they will only take the rubbish that fits in the bin?

The council said it will offer support to put the bins out by the kerbside if you are disabled, as it does now with black bin bags, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to go searching for the bin lid or heard complaints about the service.

Within the confines of your own property you can complain to the council if the assisted collection is not as it should be, but when you are on the streets it’s a different matter.

Bin bags, or wheelie bins, block the pavements, making them too narrow to negotiate a wheelchair. If you are visually impaired, it’s a nightmare.

The council say obstructions won’t happen, but it happens with black bin bags.

In other towns I have to travel on the road because the wheelie bins obstruct most of the pavement.

Hear All Sides

SO Darlington Borough Council has decided in its usual arrogant manner that spending £1m on large lumps of plastic is the way to go (Echo, May 11).

No ifs or buts, that’s your lot – the council has spoken.

It strikes me that buying bins is the easy bit, but how to operate the system is another matter due to the varying construction of households in Darlington.

It would be nice if we had at least some inkling as to how the system would operate. You can bet your boots that it will involve more physical effort by taxpayers.

The change seems to be based on the fear the council may be sued by binmen injured by the contents of black plastic bags.

What is simpler than picking up black plastic bags and putting them in a bin wagon?

Perhaps all the bins will be parked in the market square? Think of the savings the council would make then.

I hope that all our councillors look carefully at how the system will operate in their wards and be ready with some answers. I can guarantee that will not be an easy task – Steve Hodgson, Darlington.

I HAVE recently moved to Darlington from Nottingham and I was absolutely delighted that there were no wheelie bins to deal with.

Please Darlington Borough Council, reconsider burdening Darlington with these monstrosities and provide us with thicker plastic bags if that is what the problem is.

Bins are heavy for some members of the community to move, cumbersome and they look unsightly sprawled around the area.

People forget to put them out and they are not collected, which causes a hygiene problem, also overfill them, leave them out on the pavement, which becomes dangerous for older people having to negotiate them, you end up chasing your bin down the road from where it has been left by the refuse collectors.

Eventually they multiply and you end up with three bins – one for general refuse, one for recycled refuse and one for garden refuse.

In a town with lots of terraced houses, they would be difficult to operate, eg would the refuse collectors be able to pick up bins in back streets? I don’t think so, as there would not be enough room for the bins and the collection transport to get down the lanes.

My daughter lives in Wandsworth and they have a really good system, and provide different coloured bags for different refuse picked up on different days.

They are thrown into a lorry and the street is restored immediately.

Please think this through as I think it is a backward step to go with wheelie bins, apart from the obvious cost to the public purse – Joy Mills, Darlington.

THE Conservative Group on Darlington Borough Council, having considered all the issues and listened to residents’ views, are opposed to the introduction of wheelie bins.

There has been no consultation on this proposal, the financial implications were not part of the recent budget consideration, and we have not had any answers as to where the money is coming from.

The speed which this policy is being introduced is unacceptable and leaves too many unanswered questions. – Heather Scott, leader of the Conservative group.

Word on the tweet

WE asked Twitter users what they thought of the plans. Here are some of the responses.

@darlobikegirl Can’t WAIT for #wheeliebin it’ll stop my bin bags getting ripped to shreds by animals & making a mess the binmen won’t clean

@chrismarksby I used to live in Darlington and I’m moving back later this year! Stockton have #Goodmove

@cjhillen Good & long overdue. Bin men consistently fail to clean rubbish they leave behind in our street from torn bags

@elleeb About time, leaving black bags out for rats/foxes/birds to pull to pieces is unhygienic!

@Stevecathutch Not having those abominations in Darlo if I can help it. No, no and no

@Red_knight05 Time that darlo caught up with the times

@gillcartwright Mixed response from Harrowgate Hill, elderly don’t seem keen, concerned about physically being able to wheel them out

@ralphnaden About time. No more vermin infested black sacks blowing about. Easy to clean too. People forgotten those tin bins??

@Markodarlo If they are made in Germany I don’t want one! #keepitbritish

@DawnNJ71 Hate them! And what about the cost??

@funksoulHulk As long as collections done properly and regular i couldnt care less. less mess and animals cant get in

@JustJonC Yes please, much better than bags of rubbish all over the street

@darlostewy Waste of money on something that is not needed. Surely the council can spend a million pounds on better services

@JoCam211 Love the idea as will stop cats getting in rubbish but not practical where I live no road front or back of my house

@djbobw I’m all for them, as long as they buy British. For me, fornightly would be ok for rubbish & recycling

@norahsmiles I personally would LOVE a wheeliebin!

@PoliticsNE I really don’t mind one way or the other

@miketually I’m for: less mess on collection day; easier to store without animals getting in. Can understand why some are against though