Battle of the bins is looming for councils

A ROW over litter bins is brewing between two Northumberland councils.

The issue has come into focus after Morpeth Town Council was told 
there is no capacity from Northumberland County Council to collect 
rubbish from any new public bins in the town.

County officers have said that it currently takes five hours to empty the Morpeth bins twice a week and that if any other litter hotspots are identified a bin will have to be moved from elsewhere in the town, rather than putting in a new one.

The message was given to members of Morpeth Town Council’s Property and Asset Management Committee following a request from a resident for a new bin at the bus shelter at the bottom of St George’s Hill.

Members agreed that a bin is necessary, particularly as a new NHS ‘super-centre’ will soon open nearby, but before moving an existing bin they will raise the issue with health chiefs and the county authority.

Committee chairman Andrew Tebbutt said: “If a litter bin was there it would be used quite a bit and that site is going to become far more busy once the new health centre opens.

“There is a clear argument there.

“We should write to the county council and the health authority to ask what provision they are making for litter, bearing in mind what is happening with this new site.

“I presume there are lots of litter bins at the current Morpeth Cottage Hospital site.

“Before we say we will just find one of our bins to move, we need to raise the point that this is a completely different scenario happening there.”

He added: “The county council has a statutory responsibility to deal with litter.

“I suggest we ask the new neighbourhood and highways team manager to come and talk to us about litter collection in Morpeth because we are at capacity.

“We are prepared to put more bins in because we believe it is the right thing 
to do in order to keep Britain and Morpeth clear of litter as much as possible and we need to have a conversation about it.

“If it is taking five hours to empty the bins, then it is just going to have to take six hours.”