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Ipswich Borough Council forks out £100k to replace thousands of lost wheelie bins

PUBLISHED: 09:33 10 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:32 10 April 2017

Stock image of wheelie bins. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Stock image of wheelie bins. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Thousands of wheelie bins have been reported missing in Ipswich since 2012, leaving the council with an £100,000 bill.

Stock image of wheelie bins. Picture: ANTHONY DEVLIN/PAStock image of wheelie bins. Picture: ANTHONY DEVLIN/PA

A Star investigation has revealed almost 3,000 bins – ranging from 140 litre household bins to 1,100 litre industrial containers – were reported as being lost in the past five years.

Westgate had the highest number recorded with 216.

Whitton and Gainsborough were close behind with 207 and 196 respectively.

The most expensive bin, which can hold up to 1,100 litres, costs £153 while the smallest is just £17.90.

Graphic showing the number of lost wheelie bins from 2012-2017. Picture: KAYLEIGH O'DELLGraphic showing the number of lost wheelie bins from 2012-2017. Picture: KAYLEIGH O'DELL

Larger containers are often used by flats and businesses, while households are given smaller bins able to hold 360 litres.

Ipswich council bosses say these figures also include broken bins.

A spokesman said: “This isn’t just about missing bins.

“It may be broken bins, bins that unfortunately fall into the rear of the refuse collection vehicle.

“Missing bins often turn up in an alternative location after we have replaced the bin, these aren’t recorded as we don’t always know from where they originated.

“Other reasons can be theft, arson, general wear and tear (the black bins were originally issued around 1989 and will become more brittle with age), overloaded bins can twist or split on lifting, lids and wheels can be broken off.”

They also said the cost of replacing them – in this case £100,000 – is in line with other local authorities and takes into account the average purchase cost of a bin.

Chiefs could not name specific reasons why Westgate, Whitton and Gainsborough had more missing bins than anywhere else.

But the spokesman added: “As a percentage of the number of domestic bins in the borough, the average number replaced in each year in the period 2012 to 2016 is as a percentage 0.31% (less than a third of one percent) of our total bin stock.

“This is a very small percentage and would mean that at that rate it would take over 300 years before we replaced all the bins in the borough which is actually something we are proud of.”

Send your views to emily.townsend@archant.co.uk

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