England 0 Germany 1,800.
That’s the score from Maidstone Borough Council who has passed its wheelie bin order to a German company – even though each one will cost £3.83p more than the English-produced equivalent.
British companies got the red card after failing to replenish the council’s depleted stocks on time, leaving hundreds of residents waiting months for their new garden waste bins.
Coming to the rescue is German firm ESE, which has manufacturing plants in Germany and France. Some 1,800 of these substitutes are due to arrive in Maidstone this week.
Officials say the depleted stocks are due to recent government funding to boost recycling.
“It’s led to a surge in demand for wheeled bins across the country, resulting in delays of up to 12 weeks for bins from our normal suppliers,” said a council spokesman.
“There are 550 residents in the borough waiting for a garden bin. We expect to receive delivery of the bins next week.”
The council’s usual suppliers are based in Telford and Rotherham.
In its defence, the council claims to have a successful garden waste service with over 25% of its residents using it compared to an average of 15% elsewhere.
The spokesman added: “The price of bins varies according to the cost of oil at the time and the size of the order.
“On this occasion the bins cost £3.83p more than the cheapest from our normal suppliers, who were unable to fulfil our order on time.
“We had to pay a bit extra to get the bins delivered as quickly as possible.