A NEW policy for assisted bin collections is set to be launched in Hartlepool after a crackdown on lazy residents who abused the system.
The scheme sees council workers put out the bins and recycling containers on collection day of residents who cannot manage it themselves.
But the Mail revealed back in May that it was being abused because some residents were too lazy to take out their own rubbish, despite them being physically fit enough to do it.
Hartlepool Borough Council aims to simplify the existing system which involves assessing all applications on their individual merits.
Latest figures show around 1,000 households in town take advantage of the free service which sees workers collect the rubbish from an agreed location, empty it and return it.
Anecdotal evidence of the abuse led to officers wanting to develop a more efficient and robust system.
From Tuesday, September 25, residents will automatically qualify for help if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
l They have a blue badge;
l They receive disability living allowance (high rate mobility component);
l They receive a war pensioner’s mobility supplement;
l They are over the age of 80;
l They have received a lump sum benefit from the armed forces and reserve forces compensation scheme (within tariff levels one to eight) and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
l They are registered blind;
l They are registered with Macmillan and are receiving palliative care.
Residents who do not meet any of the above criteria may still qualify for help and their applications will continue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with waste team staff conducting home visits.
Fiona Srogi, waste management team leader, said: “The new criteria have been brought in to make it easier to identify those residents who should automatically get help.
“We will also be sending out letters during September to all residents currently in receipt of help explaining the new system and asking whether they still need it, so that we can bring our records up to date.”
Any residents that want to apply or find out more should call (01429) 523333 from September 25 or visit the council’s website at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/recycle