THE CONTROVERSIAL Acorn Plus waste collection system across the Horsham district has led to nearly 2,000 bins being lost or damaged this year.
Thousands of bins have been damaged or ‘eaten’ by Horsham District Council’s fleet of side-loading bin lorries since the scheme was introduced in July 2009.
And despite modifications to the lorries, 1,868 bins have needed to be replaced this year.
A spokesperson for HDC said: “Our current estimate is that the overspend will reduce to approximately £5,000 at the end of the year.
“We have delivered 2,500 bins so far this year of which 1,868 were replacements for lost or damaged bins and the remaining 632 were bins purchased by residents.
“As previously reported we had been experiencing a higher than expected number of lost and damaged bins.
“We have been working to modify the lifting arm on the Acorn Plus collection vehicles to rectify a problem when emptying the small 140 residual waste bins.
“This modification has been successful as initial results show over a 60 per cent reduction in bin losses and damage.”
The overspend for the project this financial year is expected to be £5,000 compared with nearly £800,000 last year, but members of the HDC Acorn Plus working group said last week this cannot be allowed to happen for any other council project and more work needed to be done.
Read the full story in this week’s West Sussex County Times.
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