Councillors blast chiefs over errors in Aberdeen bin roll-out

Councillors have blasted local authority chiefs for the errors made when distributing new bins.

Aberdeen City Council has given 70,000 new 180-litre bins to city homes, however, it has now emerged that people living in flats were given the individual bins too.

The council says it will have to replace these with communal bins after admitting that errors were made.

At a meeting of the communities, housing and infrastructure committee yesterday, councillors demanded to know how much the blunder would cost the local authority – and were told such information would be difficult to provide.

The committee’s convener Cllr Yvonne Allan said finding figures would in itself be costly.

Kincorth, Nigg and Cove Cllr Stephen Flynn said: “At flats in Kincorth, they all had bins given to them and they will be replaced by a communal bin.

“That’s one block of flats on one street.

“That should have been a communal bin from the outset, and if we multiply that across the city – how many bins have we unnecessarily purchased and what are the cost implications?

“I think it’s important that the public know this.”

Cllr Allan said: “I hear what you’re saying but there are also cost implications to actually get that information. It would take a lot of officers’ time.”

Pam Walker, waste strategy manager at the council, said: “It is quite difficult for us, as a service, to do that. It was an enormous project changing all of the collections for all of the people and there was a huge amount of work that went into it before the first bins hit the streets.

“That did include (predicting) where we thought the issues would be but, despite that, some of these issues couldn’t necessarily have been foreseen.”

She added: “I wouldn’t say that most of this is due to error – I’m not saying there weren’t errors because we’re all human – but it is difficult to say what was part of the process and what was in error.”

Bill Cormie, councillor for Midstocket and Rosemount, said: “This change has been, for Rosemount, a complete and utter disaster.

“For example, there are flats above local shops, the only place they could put their bins was in front of shop windows and people couldn’t get in to the shops or see what they are selling.

“I had three business owners on the phone to me because of this.

“Constituents have not been off the phone to me.

“I was led to believe (by the council) that there have been very few complaints.”

He added: “In View Terrace, they have had small vehicles going down there in the past to empty bins.

“The big vehicle was introduced but it hasn’t worked and rubbish has been lying around for four weeks.

“I have told constituents it will be sorted out after speaking to officers, but we have been misled.”

Ms Walker said the View Terrace access issue had been rectified and she and her colleagues would work with councillors to try to resolve the issues they had raised.