COUNCIL chiefs are set to remove up to half the bins in historic York city centre in a move strongly criticised for leading to a potential pile up of waste.
York Council’s cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods Coun Dafydd Williams has agreed to push ahead with plans to reduce the number of bins from 100 to 53 – including 13 new solar powered Big Belly bins – in a bid to save money by having fewer collections.
The move has been backed by Sir Ron Cooke, chair of the York Civic Trust, which has led a long-running campaign to reduce street clutter in York.
However opposition Liberal Democrat councillors have hit out at the scheme, which will cost an initial £75,000.
Coun Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We support the principle of reducing street clutter, but cutting the number of bins by nearly 50 per cent runs the risk of increasing litter and damaging the look and image of our city centre.
“Although the 13 new bins will be bigger, my experience is that having more appropriately sized and conveniently located bins often works better than having fewer but larger bins.
“Fewer bins means we are relying on people walking further with their rubbish. Realistically, this doesn’t always happen. A trial of the new system in Acomb Front Street did lead to complaints from local residents about an increase in litter.
“The scheme will cost an initial £75,000 plus ongoing yearly maintenance costs for the new bins. The use of advertising on the bins was not spelt out in the report... In the past conservation groups have objected to intrusive advertising on the side of bins.”
Coun Dafydd Williams said: “During a trial of a solar powered compactor bin in Kings Square last year, in which we removed six standard bins, we saw no increase in litter levels. Reviewing the amount of and where bins are located will ensure our streets look and feel de-cluttered.”