Dundee City Council has been slammed after it said it will cost almost £1000 and a full week’s work to provide details of the city’s new bin collection dates.
It comes after the new bin system encountered a host of problems, which the council stated was a result of manufacturer delays.
A new report revealed rubbish was not collected from 1800 homes, with the council only realising after complaints from residents flooded in.
447 calls relating to the roll-out were made every day in the weeks following the new system’s introduction.
The request for cash came after a Freedom of Information request was sent asking for waste and recycling dates for all properties, organised by address and postcode.
The council asked for a cheque of £945 to cover the cost of providing the information, which it said would require 38 hours to complete.
Michael Marra, Labour councillor for Lochee, said it was “absolutely basic” information which shouldn’t be difficult to obtain.
He said: “It’s unreasonable to ask for this amount. The communication of the bins-roll out has been so poor from the start.
“People shouldn’t be finding it difficult to understand information on their own household collections.”
While recognising that the system has had its difficulties, the council said it is “encouraging” to see recycling rates rise by 4% from April to June, compared to the same period last year.
However, Mr Marra added: “In terms of a 4% increase in recycling, it’s minimal gains for maximum disruption.
“Botched management under the SNP over the years has led to Dundee ending up near the bottom of the table for recycling when the city used to do well under Labour.”
North East Tory MSP Bill Bowman has also raised the matter at Holyrood, calling for the Scottish Government to step in and “clear up the mess” in the city.
Matt Kane, who sent the FOI request, is working on producing a national waste and recycling database, and contacted every local authority in the UK to ask for the dates of collections.
Dundee City Council are one of only 10 councils across the UK to have released no data — out of 131 authorities which have responded.
He said he has found Dundee City Council to be “one of the most unhelpful”.
“I must admit I laughed out loud when I read that it would take them a full week’s work,” he said.
“They were the first council to try to charge me for the information and I was totally stunned by it.
“I’m a coder and I know how long this stuff takes. I asked for it again as raw data to make it as easy as possible but they just sent the same reply.
“Even if you are working at your most leisurely pace, it’s not something that would take more than ten minutes.
“Living in Wiltshire, I don’t know much about the new bin system in Dundee but when a council is so opaque about something so simple, it makes you think they have something to hide.”
A spokesperson for the council said that they won’t comment on individual FOI cases.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Information Commissioner, which promotes and enforces the right to ask for information, stated there are no laws prohibiting councils from commenting on individual FOI cases.