The Labour group leader at Lichfield District Council has urged a Conservative cabinet member to provide reassurances to taxpayers over a “blue bag fiasco”.

Cllr Steve Norman
Cllr Steve Norman

It comes after Lichfield District Council admitted that the new recycling bags being issued to households were a third smaller than they should have been.

A spokesperson for the local authority also revealed that they had not been made to the specifications expected.

But Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group, has now written to the cabinet member for climate change and recycling, Cllr Ashley Yeates, to ask for reassurances over the situation.

“I see from Lichfield Live – rather than in an email to all members – that the blue bags are not what was ordered for the paper and card recycling.

“These will not be adequate for use in Lichfield district and I would like reassurance that the 80 litre bags that were specified will eventually be supplied to residents, albeit after a delay. 

“I would also like to be reassured that they are weighted as ordered.” 

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
One of the new recycling bags
One of the new recycling bags

The bags were meant to have an 80 litre capacity, but are actually less than even the 72 litre capacity bags used in areas like Stafford.

Cllr Norman added:

“There are a clearly a number of questions that need answering – were the wrong ones ordered or were the wrong ones sent and why were they not checked before distribution?  Will residents be asked to have two, three or four ‘small’ bags now if the mistake is the council’s and they can’t get their money back?   

“I am not against British understatement but with the cabinet member saying he is ‘disappointed’ about this and his council leader recently describing the MP’s comments on accusations of partying and drinking nurses and teachers as ‘unhelpful’, complacency – or arrogance – seems to have levelled down to the local Conservatives.” 

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
Cllr Ashley Yeates
Cllr Ashley Yeates

Cllr Yeates has told residents they will be able to order additional bags if they are needed – but not until the end of next month.

“We are disappointed that the blue bags we have received from our supplier do not meet our expectations and we are investigating this issue.

“Additional bags can be ordered and any superfluous bins removed by contacting us at the end of May through our website or by calling 0345 002 0022.”

Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council

The controversial move to the new bag collections has already faced challenges after a report in November 2021 revealed that the cost of buying them had leapt by £100,000 from the original £229,000 anticipated as part of the joint waste service delivered with Tamworth Borough Council.

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15 Comments

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  1. Another example of our council tax being used on something that has not even been checked for quality and that the items are correct. I would also like to ask where multiple blue bags can be stored on peoples premises where wheelie bins are also large to store?? I has 3 small deliveries today which would have filled 1 bag??

  2. You don’t place an order, receive a different spec than ordered and still roll it out, you send it back & defer payment until the correct order is received.
    I mean, I thought the council was full of ‘business people’.
    Clearly they’ve never worked in procurement, due diligence or payments for starters. 🤦‍♀️

  3. With our so called MP putting both his feet in his mouth evert time he speaks and the tory Council not knowing how to order and distribute the correct blue bags, I do believe we should be having a local election to get rid of these incompetent people and getting people in who can do a decent job of looking after us.

  4. Why on gods earth did they not order 100 samples prior to the main order ? How long does it take to look at the order and quote what was ordered ?….I called the council asking why I could not use 1 of my blue bins for cardboard and the other for general recycling they replied the trucks can no longer handle 2 bin waste streams, in other words no you cannot use common sense with your cardboard.

  5. If the people responsible for this fiasco of an idea and it’s parlous introduction worked for me they would be fired for gross incompetence

  6. i am 92 years old and suffer fron c o p d and asbesetos related illness and yet i am to go through my blue bin to sort the card and paper from the plasic . no can do i have yet to receive my blue bag. bryan davies rugeley

  7. This is totally the wrong way round. I have card and paper piled up which won’t fit in the new bag and just a couple of bottles and cans rattling around in the blue bin. They have this totally the wrong way round. I’ve no idea how I am supposed to lift the full to overflowing new bag, onto the top of the blue bin. 🤷‍♀️

  8. the blue bags are not fit for purpose. As the tops are difficult to seal properly, the water will seep in and make all the paper and cardboard wet, also, do the council really think these blue bins will not blow away are will open in more than a little breeze therefore causing paper and card to blow all over Litchfield and Tamworth!! Having been in procurement for over 20 years it beggars belief that the wrong bags were received from the suppliers and STILL used…I think the word everybody is looking for is incompetent!!

  9. What a disgusting waste of money.

    Heres a list of what £329,000 could of been spent on.

    Fed over 20,000 childrens school dinners, average cost £15

    Meals for stuggling families over 13,000, average cost around £25

    Around 16 nurses for an entire year, average wage being even less then £18,000

    Investments such as clearing lichfieds cycle tracks, brooks, stowe pool, misterpool from the years of constant neglect.

    Finally, the biggest slap in the face everyone has missed. The main reason the council has chose for us to seperate our recycling isnt because the recycling operators have told them too, of the contamination. Its because our council wanted a cheaper deal, so the recyling operator has to STILL sort and seperate the plastic bottles, food trays from paper etc but the council has to pay alittle less now because we have to serparate our recycables at home. Now the food trays cannot be recycled most times depending on their condition, so thats mostly always sent to landfill. The centres mostly always have machinary that seperates the recycling so we really dont need to be doing it. They’ll be other reasons to why the operator is wanting to increase the cost to the council and rejecting trucks. I for one have seen its not because of food stuck on a tray, is electricals to babys diapers.

    So the council raise the tax rates, make cut backs to vital services, leave the pot holes that lost Jack from Titanic. Upgrade their office, winge they arnt paid enough, while all along feeding endless lies to the public, just endless lies.

  10. We have given up as far too small after 1 week so all paper is now in black bin. This is only answer to such incompetence. Many Councils [Kent & Leeds for sure] have abandoned this concept as black bins were causing more landfill which cost more than the paper recycling savings!!

  11. What an absolute trash of an idea and a waste of money! Bag??? Too small for paper/card recycling and inconvenient! Where are we supposed to store it? Can see already next windy weather comes, the whole street will be covered in flying paper. Why couldn’t they just provided another bin like in some areas (purple). I guess majority of people will just put paper to general waste from now on, which is a shame.

  12. My paper and card will now be going in the black bin I’m afraid. I imagine our roads will soon be looking awful on windy days when the rubbish had blown away. Very disappointing concept

  13. Its ridiculous method why not have small blue bin and another small bin what ever color for card and paper i am sure that would save a fortune

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