Replacement of Damaged and Faulty Wheeled Bins

Wheeled bins are manufactured from High Density Polyurethane (HDPE), a strong hard-wearing type of plastic. They are supplied in a range of colours and come with a 5-year guarantee from year of manufacture, covering failure due to cracks and splits.

Where a wheeled bin develops a fault during the 5-year warranty period, the Council will replace the wheeled bin free of charge. The warranty does not cover damage through misuse, such as placing hot ashes in the bin. The warranty does not cover the theft of a wheeled bin or damage by a third party. After the warranty period, the Council will not replace bins free of charge.

For costs and information about ordering a new bin please visit Order a new bin or kitchen caddy | Ards and North Down Borough Council

The useful life of a wheeled bin varies widely depending on how it is used and maintained. The following circumstances all contribute to a reduction in the useful life of a wheeled bin:

  • Overloading – this can result in the lid being damaged during the collection cycle.
  • Heavy objects – items such as bricks, broken blocks, metals objects can damage and weaken the bin during the emptying process leading to splits and cracks.
  • Compacting waste within the bin – waste should not be compacted or squashed within the bin as this can cause splits/cracks and can also stop the contents from falling out during the emptying process.
  • Storage in direct sunlight – HDPE has a degree of elasticity, but over time the plastic loses its elasticity and becomes more brittle and prone to splitting. Strong sunlight accelerates the process and therefore it is advised to store your bin in a shaded area.
  • Garden waste/food waste – Organic derived waste has a high moisture content and is subject to breakdown resulting in the release of liquid known as leachate. During cold spells the leachate can freeze and expand, leading to cracks and splits. Wheeled bins used for garden/food waste should be presented for collection regularly even when not full, to avoid this problem.
  • Use for other purposes – Examples witnessed have included tradesmen using wheeled bins as a stand, using them as a platform, and for the transport of materials to Household Recycling Centres.

Outside of the warranty period, it is the responsibility of the householder to repair or replace the wheeled bin when it has become defective through normal wear and tear and presents a health and safety issue to the collection team. Where a faulty bin is noted, the crew will affix a sticker to the wheeled bin advising the householder to purchase a replacement bin.

Split or Cracked Wheeled Bins

As stated above, with age the plastic (HDPE) used to manufacture wheeled bins will become more brittle and cracks will occur through normal wear and tear. Once a split occurs, the overall integrity of the container is considerably weakened, and further splits are more likely to occur during the physical, emptying process. Smaller cracks around the base of the container may go unnoticed, but it will normally spread or enlarge, especially if heavy items are placed in the container. The Council will not replace split bins outside of the 5-Year warranty period and the householder is required to repair the container or purchase a replacement container.

Faulty lids

The lid is attached to the main body of the bin by plastic holding plugs. Through normal usage these can become loose and eventually fall out. When a container is presented with defective plugs the lid can become entangled causing the lid to fall into the lorry. If the operator does not notice the defect before engaging the bin onto the system, the lid will be lost into the vehicle and the resident will be required to arrange a repair or replace the container.

Wheels not turning with Axles expanding

Typically, wheels and axles are the most robust parts of the containers and faults rarely occur. The axle is made of metal and over many years may corrode and expand causing the wheel to stop turning. The expansion of the metal can also cause the plastic holding bracket to crack and break which can cause a serious hazard for the operator if this breaks away from the container during the emptying process. The bin needs to be freely moving forwards and backwards so it can be safely attached and removed from the automatic lifting system.

Automatic lifting Equipment

The Council operates Terberg lifting equipment in all its main front-line vehicles. This is one of the most reliable and safest bin lifts in service today. The lifting systems are checked daily by the operators before going into service and receive a six weekly maintenance check by our fleet services. The bins are attached to the system at a reinforced point on the front of the bin and rated to lift a maximum weight of 100KG.

The cost of new containers

The Council currently sells bins to domestic households within the Borough at cost price. The containers are delivered to any location within the Borough free of charge and on request the old container is removed and recycled without any additional cost. By purchasing containers in bulk, the Council can save residents around 50% on the cost price compared to local and online retailers.