CARDIFF’S cabinet member for the environment has defended charging residents £25 to replace stolen wheelie bins, and other council waste disposal policies.
AM Eluned Parrott told the Cardiffian last month that the charge to replace stolen bins had been imposed more than 200 times.
But Labour’s Councillor Bob Derbyshire has dismissed her claim.
“I’ve had very little evidence to show that bins are being stolen,” he said. “Why would people steal a bin?
“We’ve had half a dozen occasions where somebody has said they have had a bin stolen. We’re not talking big numbers of cases here.”
“The difficulty with that is the council can’t cover the cost of everything anymore, those days are gone.
“We have to find ways to save money, even this year we had to save £30 million is the 15/16 budget so we have to find ways of doing that.
“If a bin is broken or damaged by our crews we will replace it free of charge, but if someone reports it stolen we’ve got no way of knowing whether it has really been stolen.”
Coun Derbyshire also defended the scheme which requires people to show identification in order to prove they live in Cardiff before using waste recycling centres.
“If you live in Cardiff then providing some form of ID is not difficult,” he said.
“What I found when I went round the recycling centre last week was that everybody I saw there had ID with them, so obviously the message has got through.
“The vast majority of people who go now have ID so it’s not a particularly big issue.”
Liberal-Democrat AM Eluned Parrott said in February that the ID policy would make it too difficult for residents to legally dispose of waste.
But Coun Derbyshire denies this.
“If someone is making time to go to a recycling centre, then they would not consider fly-tipping.
“Every area including Cardiff gets charged for the amount of waste we put out, and so if people from outside the city are coming to our recycling centres and dumping their waste then that’s costing Cardiff residents money.”
Coun Derbyshire did however concede that fly-tipping is an issue in the city.
“It’s still something that we are concerned about and trying to find a solution,” he conceded.
“But it’s not always easy as you have to trace the person responsible for it. One of the things we do is obviously look for evidence within whatever’s been tipped.
“In terms of a court of law you’ve got to have the proof. It can’t just be done on the fact that ‘oh we know that number six down the road regularly goes out and dumps a few black bags down there’.”
Residents in Adamsdown and Splott have regularly complained of fly-tipping, with incidents reported outside Moorland Primary School, and the Royal Infirmary among others.
“The sort of stuff that goes on in places like Adamsdown and Splott is more I think to do with people who can’t get it in their own bin or whatever they just take it down the road a bit and dump it in a corner somewhere.
“They think it out of sight so it doesn’t matter.”
Coun Derbyshire promised further action to tackle fly-tipping.
“In terms of fly-tipping we’re doing a lot more enforcement over the next year or so. If you look at Cathays in the last year we’ve issued over 300 notices about waste followed up by a number of fixed penalties,” he said,