Householders asked to pay for wheelie bins
Christchurch householders are being asked to stump up hundreds of dollars for new wheelie bins that are vanishing from homes and kerbsides at a rate of nearly five a day.
In the 20 months since the February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch City Council says it has received 2872 requests for new wheelie bins because the bins have gone missing or been stolen.
Those requests have been rejected by the council, in line with current policy.
However, had they been approved, the council would be more than $1.14 million out of pocket.
In the residential red-zone, 9200 wheelie bins are unaccounted for.
At present, the council only provides replacement bins if the bins are stolen from the kerbside while out for collection and the theft is notified 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. It costs $342 to replace a standard wheelie bin. Today, councillors will consider whether to change the policy so payments can be made for stolen or lost bins under special circumstances.
Council staff are opposed to the move because of the difficulty in defining special circumstances.
Christchurch City Council is not the only local authority battling the theft or disappearance of wheelie bins.
In Britain, the borough of Christchurch, in Dorset, has lost so many wheelie bins that the council is putting microchips in them.