Plans to share wheelie bins as soaring demand in Eastern Europe leaves Britain short

Householders could be forced to share wheelie bins because of shortages caused by soaring demand on the Continent.

Councils around the country have seen their stocks decline but have been told their suppliers are working at full capacity.

The shortfall has affected both large green wheelie bins and the smaller black recycling bins.

The problem is being blamed on a new environmental law in Germany which means every home has to have a separate bin for paper.

bin graphic

It means that this country needs an extra 40million bins. 

Most of the manufacturers are in Eastern Europe and Germany itself and have been working flat out to meet the increased demand.

Some local authorities in Britain have therefore been unable to take delivery of more bins until January, according to the Local Government Association, the umbrella body for councils.

Town halls recommend sharing bins with neighbours, using black bags or driving to refuse dumps to

tackle the problem. Householders who opt to buy a wheelie bin from a private firm will have to pay around £100 for a green 240-litre standard container.

The quarter of town halls which did not distribute the bins for free only charged from £30 to £50.

Lewisham Council in South London has been hit worse than most. It has completely run out of wheelie bins due to a fire destroying its supplier’s factory in France.

It is recommending those left without bins share with their neighbours and remain patient until new supplies arrive.

Councillor Susan Wise told residents: ‘If your neighbour has a recycling bin, could you ask them if they would share it with you until yours is delivered?’

Robert Bull, managing director of supply company, said: ‘It is an absolute nightmare at the moment because we are not getting any through. It’s been getting steadily worse since May.

‘Supply has come to a virtual standstill even for us – and we are supposed to be priority customers.’

Some 8,000 new homeowners in Lancashire have been told they will not receive a wheelie bin for eight months.

More than 700 residents in Derby are without a bin and Leeds City Council has announced that it has also run out of spare bins.

Wear Valley District Council in County Durham has started to hand out its 15,000-bin stockpile that it had been storing in a field after it too began to run out.

The shortage has increased fears that wheelie bins will be stolen and sold on the black market.

Peterborough City Council paid £75,000 to replace 2,000 stolen bins last year. One council worker even noticed one of the authority’s £30 bins being used while on holiday in Bulgaria.

Barnet Council in North London started charging £50 for a replacement bin after more than 500 were stolen last year.

The thefts were blamed on residents taking bins from their neighbours.

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