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Wheelie bin shortage linked to Pickles' collection cash

Manufacturers of wheelie bins are reporting greater demand for their products but the surge is compensating for several months of stagnant orders.

A shortage in supply is linked by some to the Government’s £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme, personally backed by communities secretary Eric Pickles. When local authorities received their money in February, many ordered extra wheelie bins of various sizes.

Jonathan Straight, pictured, chief executive of bin manufacturer Straight plc, said: “Business dried up for several months. Even councils who had funding previously were waiting to see if they had been awarded ‘Pickles money’.”

The flow of extra funding resulted in many councils ordering new bins at the same time. Supply was not great enough to meet demand, resulting in a shortage.

In Brighton & Hove, for example, residents have been told they will not receive new bins until October. A spokesman for the city council said: “City residents may experience a delay when ordering wheelie bins over the next couple of months. This is due to a national shortage of wheelie bins.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: “In some cases, bins will have been ordered as mass replacement or to introduce a new scheme, so councils will simply continue to operate the existing service until the bins can be supplied.”

The higher demand has been good news for several companies, which have been able to meet the higher orders.

A spokeswoman from MGB Plastics, which makes a range of wheelie bins, said: “We have experienced a large demand but there’s been no delay in supplying anybody. The large orders started in February but we usually get a lot of orders at that time anyway due to council budgets.”

This isn’t the first time there’s been a shortage of bins. In 2008 the UK experienced a scarcity due to Germany, Poland and Estonia buying large quantities to introduce recycling schemes. Councils were waiting between three and eight months for new or replacement bins.

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