THE first Township Forum meeting at the Elms Community Centre was addressed by Neil Long, assistant director of Bury waste, on recycling.

He explained that the £25 charge for replacement bins applied to all bins, save for those damaged by the bin crews, to try to reduce costs for stolen bins, bins damaged by children, bins set on fire etc. Fair enough.

At the Hollins, Unsworth and Sunny Bank Homewatch meeting, Glen Stewart, waste manager for Bury Council spoke. I asked him about the £25 charge as one of my widowed neighbour had asked for a new grey bin because hers had been broken some time ago by the bin men. He said the council policy was that any bin damaged by the bin men and seen to be damaged by the bin men, on the day, would be reported by them and a replacement bin would be delivered for free, otherwise it would be £25.

It was pointed out that some of these bins are very old, my grey bin was delivered in 1984 and has the words Bury MBC on it, so why should people be paying £25, which in my view is another tax, for bins that have worn out, sit for six days on someone’s property, get wheeled to the kerb on the seventh day, get battered by a bin wagon and are then slid back? Glen Stewart’s reply was basically, ‘I can see it’s unfair but, if you want the policy changed, see your councillors’.

So we have plastic bins, more than 27 years old, that sit out all year, filled with all sorts of rubbish and every seven days are banged about by a bin wagon. Is it any wonder that they are getting damaged?

The council is going to be on a nice little earner. Each household now has four bins — over time each household has to fork out £100 to replace bins owned and damaged by the council.

Ian R Hague South Close Bury