THE leader of the borough’s Liberal Democrat group has urged Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to introduce solar-powered street bins at the Top of The Town.

Councillor Gavin James, who is also a ward member for Eastrop, called on the borough council’s decision-making Cabinet to consider introducing environmentally-friendly bins such as the “Big Belly Solar Compactor”.

The “Big Belly Solar Compactor” is a standard-sized street bin which uses solar energy to provide power to an internal compactor, meaning that it can hold 800 litres of waste – eight times greater than standard bins.

Cllr James told the Cabinet: “With the town operating 24 hours a day, we need to embrace technology to help us to keep the town streets clean. The idea of a bin that needs less emptying is a money saver.

“The fact that the bin can send the council a text when it’s 75 per cent full can help council operatives make best use of their time. For busy areas such as the Top of The Town and our urban parks, these bins could really make a positive difference.”

But Cllr Terri Reid, Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, ruled out using the solar-powered bins, saying: “Bins are set to be replaced in November in the Top of The Town as part of the project to improve the local environment.

“These have been ordered to fit the heritage style of the town’s historic heart.

“The concept of solar-powered compacting bins was something officers were interested in and they met with the company, but there was no possibility of buying a few to trial them, only leasing a large number, and that would not make them cost-effective.”