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Council to ‘red card’ homes unsuitable for wheelie bins

Council to ‘red card’ homes unsuitable for wheelie bins

🕔27.Mar 2013

redcardOccupants of properties deemed unsuitable for wheelie bins will be handed a football-style red card by Birmingham City Council.

The colour indicates that inspectors have decided that a house or flat has steps that are too steep, is on a slope, has insufficient storage space for a wheelie bin, or is inaccessible for collection vehicles.

However, householders in homes considered suitable for wheelie bins will receive a green card alerting them to expect a delivery of the new bins in due course.

The red and green card system is to have its first airing in Brandwood and Harborne, where a £29 million city-wide switch from plastic refuse sacks to wheelie bins is being piloted.

Red cards will contain information about alternative refuse collection options and explain whether householders can continue to use plastic sacks.

The notification system is the latest example of the bureaucracy underpinning the introduction of wheelie bins. One of the largest consultation exercises ever held in Birmingham created embarrassing headlines for the council after residents were asked about their sexual orientation and religious beliefs, but not whether they actually wanted a wheelie bin.

Every house in the city will have to be inspected to see whether it is suitable for wheelie bins.

Face-to-face surveys are also to be conducted ahead of the pilot at a sample number of homes in both wards.

A council spokesman said: “The pilot will then further inform the council ahead of the city-wide roll-out of wheelie bins, and the feedback that is gained, along with the findings from an online survey and meetings with special interest groups will help shape the wider scheme.

“If a resident is elderly and infirm or has a physical disability and there are no adults, aged 16 or over, living in their household able to move wheelie bins, the council can arrange to collect the wheelie bins from inside the boundary of their property. This is known as an assisted collection service.

“Further leaflets will be delivered to homes in the pilot areas in the coming weeks with details about when the new bins will be delivered and their collection arrangements.”

The spokesman added that larger and smaller households will be able to apply for bins of a size that are “more appropriate to their needs”.

Council officials insist the switch to wheelie bins will cut costs and drive up recycling rates.

Opponents claim that unofficial surveys have uncovered 80 per cent opposition to the change.

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