DISABLED people unable to cope with Powys County Council’s new wheelie bins will have to pay £39.50 for a roll of purple refuse sacks, it has been revealed.
Powys County Council says its collection staff will provide ‘assisted collections’ for anyone unable to manage the large wheelie bin, but will not swap the four foot tall container for a roll of purple refuse sacks.
This is despite the council providing such sacks free of charge to residents living in accommodation that cannot cope – such as flats – with the wheelie bins.
Powys County Council’s insistence not to allow elderly or disabled people to swap the wheelie bins for the “lighter, more manageable” purple sacks has annoyed members of Welshpool Town Council.
Councillor Ann Holloway said: “I have had people ringing me all week saying they cannot cope with the large wheelie bins.
“Some of these people are well into their eighties and not always that steady on their feet, and when I suggested they ask the council to swap them for purple bags I was disgusted to hear they would be charged £39.50 for that, whereas the sacks are free to people deemed to be living in accommodation that is not suitable for wheelie bins.
“I think it is wrong and people should be able to contact the council and say ‘I cannot cope with a wheelie bin’ and then they should be assessed and if what they are saying is correct they should be given the lighter, more manageable purple sacks for free, otherwise it is total discrimination.
“When I was told by a council officer that a member of the council’s staff will help move wheelie bins for people who cannot manage them, I had a right row and told them ‘I wasn’t born yesterday’.”
Cllr Phil Pritchard added: “The average age of the 24 people who live at Oldford Close is 79-years-old. How on earth are they expected to manage with these large bins?
“Yet as soon as they ring County Hall to try to explain their situation they are just getting fobbed off.”
Cllr Estelle Bleivas concluded: “If all these wonderful binmen are going to be helping elderly and disabled people move their wheelie bins I know what is going to happen next, they will be off work with a bad back because of the extra stress being asked of them.”
A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “Anyone who has a wheelie bin but feels they are unable to manage them should contact the council and we can see that they get assisted collections.
“If we say they will get assisted collections then that is the service they will get.
“Likewise if anyone has a wheelie bin and doesn’t want one they can ask for it to be taken away, or if anyone has a wheelie bin but would prefer the purple sacks they can contact the council and pay for them to be delivered.”