Dozens of litter bins to be removed from Central Milton Keynes, claim Conservative councillors

MK Council is currently taking down dozens of bins in CMK and will soon roll out the project across the borough, say Tory councillors.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:08 pm

The project is part of a Lib Dem and Labour backed drive to install solar panel ‘smart’ bins across MK.

But in a meeting of the Regeneration committee, it was confirmed by officers that for every one solar panel bin put up, up to 15 old bins would be taken down.

Labour and Lib Dem councillors say the decision will help manage resources better as each Smart bin will take up to five times more rubbish. But the Conservatives are predicting it will just add to MK's litter problems.

Fifteen solar panel bins have been installed in CMK, and following a Lib Dem amendment funding is available for a further 50 bins that will be rolled out this year.

There is a particular focus on the project being installed in regeneration estates in MK in the future.

Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Alex Walker said: “With fly-tipping and litter out of control as it is, I’m a total lost to the idea of removing bins.

“Solar bins may be very smart, but it can’t make litter walk to them. There will be less bins where people walk, therefore there will be more litter. Location is everything when it comes to tackling litter.

A solar powered Smart bin

“When we speak to residents, they want more bins in their communities not less. Where this has been used elsewhere in the country it has been an excuse for cutting resources, this seems to be yet another bizarre waste decision.”

Smart bins are able to take five times more rubbish than the standard bins across CMK and contents will be crushed and compacted several times a day using the solar energy collected.

They contain smart monitors so the council can understand when the bins are nearly full and can send someone to empty them when needed, rather than sending operators unnecessarily to a bin that doesn’t need emptying.

The bins open when you press a handle or a foot pedal. As they’re sealed, they can stop vermin and birds, and will stop rubbish overflow onto the street.

Solar bins will be placed where demand it’s greatest and this can lead to the bin overflowing even when people try and do the right thing. The solar bins have a higher capacity and automatically indicate when they need to be emptied, so they will really improve how places look and will reduce litter.

Labour's council leader Pete Marland said: "The council provides loads of bins but there can’t be one on every street corner. If there isn’t a bin people should take their litter home. It’s not a very difficult to respect your community and I think the vast majority of people know that. If they don’t then Labour’s plan is to introduce wardens to issue spot fines. If you disrespect your community by dropping litter you should pay the price.

"Sadly it’s more negative campaigning from the Conservatives... Rather than condemn people for dropping litter they condone it. It’s quite simple, their message should be dropping litter isn’t acceptable, but instead they are siding with those that break the rules."