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Removal of unwanted brown bins begins

Posted by Suffolk Coastal District Council on 12 November 2018 | Comments

Phase one of delivering the new garden waste bins to homes in Suffolk Coastal has now been completed, although we will continue to deliver them to people who signed up after 26 August.

The new bins have been fitted with embedded, hi-tech tags - radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag, to give them their official name. These can be ‘read’ by a special device that the bin lorry crews have, to ensure the right bins are emptied.

We will also be carrying out a phased ‘retro-fit’ of the tags to the brown bins, where people have joined the garden waste scheme but have not opted to have one of the new larger green bins.

We have now started the process of collecting all unwanted brown bins in the district. This is being done area by area, according to normal routes and days for collection.

A week before the removal of the brown bins, our refuse crews will leave a hanger on the grey bins on a route. The hanger explains what to do and when to present brown bins for us to take away.

“We have had a very good response to the launch of the Garden Waste Scheme. About 33,000 households (or about 57% of homes) have now signed up. Of these, 80% have opted to get the new larger green bins,” explained Cllr Carol Poulter, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Green Environment.

“The new bins have now been delivered to households in Suffolk Coastal, and we are starting the process of removing the unwanted brown bins. This is a huge logistical exercise, and as we don’t know how many unwanted bins there are, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to complete.

“Accidents can happen, so if your unwanted brown bin is not removed with others in your street, you can report it to us. We will endeavour to remove any we’ve missed within a week, but we would ask people to bear with us as there is a lot to be done.”

Households are being asked to put unwanted brown bins out on their normal garden waste collection day, and to re-use the bin hanger to tell the removal crews to take it away. Securely attach the hanger to the handle of the unwanted brown bin so that the ‘tick’ is clearly visible.

If you don’t have the hanger, you can also put a note on any unwanted brown bin, asking for it to be taken away. Just make sure the note is large enough to be clearly visible to the removal crew and securely attached to the bin.

On collection day, the refuse crews will empty ALL brown bins as well as green bins. The unwanted brown bins will be marked with temporary spray paint and left by the side of the road. The removal crews will pick these up later on the same day.

The removal crews will only take the bins with the sprayed marking. If there is any doubt as to whether the bin is wanted or not, it will not be removed.

We don’t know how many households want to keep their brown bins for repurposing and how many will need to be removed. Therefore, it is hard to set a timescale for the operation, but we estimate that around 40,000 unwanted brown bins will be removed over a six week period.

It is never too late to join the Garden Waste Scheme and still get 12 months worth of collections. It is quick and easy to sign up. You can:

  • Go online at my.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/MyServices. You will need to register, or login to, your My Eastsuffolk account and then complete the form for garden waste
  • Call Customer Services on 01394 383 789, and choose option ‘0’
  • Or, pop in to see our Customer Service staff in the Customer Service Centre in Felixstowe and Woodbridge Library

You will need a debit or credit card to pay. The fee for each bin is £43 for a year (the equivalent of paying about £1.65 per fortnightly collection). You can place your order now and don’t forget to say ‘YES’ to the upgrade.

If you are already a member of the scheme and haven’t opted in yet, you can still change your mind. We will continue to provide the upgrade bins, free of charge, to anyone who is eligible, even after the autumn rollout.

Worried about the lid not fitting on new green bin?

You may find that the lid of your new green bin does not seem to fit properly. Some warping can occur because of the way the bins have been stacked for transportation.

This is normal and we know from experience that the warping does rectify itself within about a month and the lid will fit correctly. We recommend you place a heavy item on the top of your bin lid for a few days to encourage it to go back to the correct shape.

There is no need to contact us about this unless your bin has other physical signs of damage.