OPPOSITION councillors in Sheffield have called for 30,000 green bins to be retained and reused, instead of being destroyed.
The bins, used for recycling garden waste in south-east Sheffield before the council scrapped its free collection service earlier this year, are to be collected up, chipped and sold.
Residents in other areas never had green bins, instead putting out sacks of garden waste for collection before the green waste service was cancelled.
Now opposition Liberal Democrats have suggested the unwanted bins be redistributed to residents who are prepared to pay a £57.60 annual charge to continue to have their waste collected.
They say the bins, which would cost £20 to buy new, have a total value of £600,000.
Group leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Since Labour decided the scrap the hugely popular free green sacks, people across the city are looking for alternative ways to recycle their garden waste.
“It seems like a complete waste to have a ‘bonfire of the bins’, when many of those residents may welcome the offer of a green bin.
“Instead of needlessly wasting these green bins, Labour councillors should be putting them to good use.”
Coun Jack Scott, Labour cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “Only the Lib Dems could suggest giving people a bin that would not be emptied or collected – this does not make any sense.
“Ultimately this comes back to the problem that the Government is making heavy cuts to our budget and the council can no longer afford the service.
“If we did not do this we would be faced with bigger cuts to other services. The Liberal Democrats should address the real issue – such heavy cuts.”