Wanted: More than 9000 lost wheelie bins

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012

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The issue of Christchurch's disappearing wheelie bins rolls on as city councillors seek more information on the issue.

The council's environment and infrastructure committee yesterday asked staff to speak to the company that runs the city's wheelie-bin service about more bins being stolen or going missing since the February 2011 earthquake.

In the 20 months since the February 2011 earthquake, the council has received 2872 requests to replace missing or stolen bins.

In the residential red-zone, about 9200 wheelie bins were unaccounted for, a council spokeswoman said.

The council will only provide replacement bins if they are taken from the kerbside while out for collection and the theft is reported within 24 hours.

If the bin is stolen from a property or from the kerbside outside collection hours, it is up to the property owner to pay for the replacement - a set of three standard wheelie bins costs $342.

Council staff had recommended rejecting a proposal to pay for stolen or lost bins under special circumstances because of difficulties defining which cases would qualify.

However, the committee yesterday did not make any recommendation. It asked staff to discuss the problem with council contractor Transpacific Industries, which owns the bins, before reporting back.

Committee member Aaron Keown said there had been a lot of debate about the present policy, and councillors had several questions for Transpacific that could clear up the issue.

Keown said residents needed to take more care with their bins.

"People see them as being free, so they don't respect them. With your kid's bike, you don't leave it out in front of your house for a week, and the bins actually cost more."

He hoped the matter could be dealt with before Christmas.

If the council had honoured all requests for bin replacements since the quake, staff said it would have had to stump up more than $1.14 million.

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- The Press

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