Woman sues as bins 'wreck kerb appeal'

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The Independent Online

A woman is planning to sue her council claiming its "unsightly" green wheeled bins have decreased the value of her property.

Judie Chisholm, 57, from Paignton, Devon, is seeking £5,000 compensation from Torbay Council, saying the large bins are "unsuitable" for her needs and have killed off her property's "kerb appeal".

She has written to the council's legal department informing them of her intention to claim compensation.

Miss Chisholm's letter came after the local authority introduced a new rubbish and recycling scheme earlier this month which sparked more than 6,000 complaints in its first day.

Her trouble began when the council replaced her seagull-proof sack used for holding household waste with a large wheelie bin.

Miss Chisholm, whose property has steps leading up to the front door, claims the bins have to stay on the street.

In her letter to the authority, she said the new green-coloured bin had "wrecked all kerb appeal in one fell swoop".

Though she insisted she does not object to recycling, she says it has now gone too far.

"I also strongly object to the area in general being turned from a beautiful tourist attraction into a slum like Bin City," she said in her letter.

"It would be bad enough if these bins were only on display one day a week, but wheelie bins are having to be stored permanently on pavements where there is no other option, and recycling is being left out for days on end because the collections are late."

She said the new scheme led to eight days of delays in collection in the first two weeks.

Miss Chisholm has now threatened to "saw up" her large bin, put it in her car and dump it on the steps of the Town Hall if it is not collected.

Previously, suitable householders had two wheeled bins - one for recycling and one for general waste - which were collected on alternative weeks.

Officials now want the residents to organise their own rubbish for kerbside collections.

Green wheelie bins are being replaced with a series of boxes which contain food, card, paper, glass, foil and tins.

The scheme aims to save £14 million and see 50% of waste recycled by 2012.

A Torbay Council spokesman said: "We can confirm we have received a letter from a resident which has been referred to our claims team for consideration."