This page provides frequently asked questions and answers about grit/salt bins.
We hope you find the answer to your question here, but if you need more help please call Highways Customer Care on 01443 866511 or email Highways Customer Care.
Grit bins - report misappropriate usage in confidence
We have had reports of suspected misappropriate usage of grit bins, including reports of large amounts of grit being bagged up and taken away.
The grit in the grit bins is for use on public roads and pedestrian areas/footways only. The grit must not be used to grit private properties.
How can I ask for a grit bin to be filled up?
We fill all highways grit bins at the start of the winter season. We then monitor the amount of grit in the grit bins and fill them up on a weekly basis during periods of high demand. However, if you are aware of a grit bin that has not been filled up this winter season please let us know.
If we need to preserve grit stocks we may have to reduce the frequency of when the bins are refilled.
We regularly monitor the levels in the grit bins according to weather conditions. If we discover grit levels decreasing beyond what the demand should be, there may be misappropriate use of the grit. If our investigations prove there's been misappropriate use we may remove the grit bin permanently.
How many grit bins are there in the borough?
There are over 700 grit bins distributed at key locations throughout the borough for use on public roads and pedestrian areas and footways only.
Over the next two years we plan to increase the number of grit bins in the borough to around 800. Once we've hit this figure we don't intend to place any more grit bins. Instead, we will relocate some of the existing bins to more appropriate locations so the highest priority locations throughout the borough are provided with grit bins.
How can I request a grit bin?
The allocation of new grit bins for this winter season has been decided so no new grit bins will be provided this winter season. However, to request a grit bin for your area for consideration for the next winter season please complete the form below.
Requests will be assessed using our approved needs-based criteria and will be decided by the townships and ward councillors.
The location of each new grit bin will be reviewed to ensure access can be gained for restocking and the grit bin does not cause an obstruction, create a hazard or would have security issues. Unless placed for a specific reason, no grit bins will be located on roads or pedestrian areas which are already on our treatment routes or already have a grit bin.
You will not get an immediate decision following your request for a grit bin. Also, any additional grit bins may not be provided until the start of the next highways winter service season. This is because each request for a bin has to be reviewed against all the other requests and we have to prioritise based on the needs of areas.
How do I report a damaged grit bin?
To report a damaged grit bin please call Highways Customer Care on 01443 866511 or email Highways Customer Care.
Please include the exact location of the damaged bin.
Please be aware we only have provision to replace a limited number of grit bins each year, which means we may not be able to replace a damaged bin immediately. If you witness any vandalism to the grit bins please report this as identified above.
Why does the council provide grit bins? Can't it do all the gritting instead?
Because it is not possible for our gritters to spread grit on every road and pavement in the borough, grit bins have been provided at key locations throughout the borough to allow residents, motorists and pedestrians to spread the grit on the public highway and pedestrian areas.
Can I use the grit provided to grit my property?
No. The grit in the grit bins is for use on public roads and pedestrian areas / footways only and must not be used to grit private properties.
Grit for use on private property can be bought from builder's merchants and DIY stores for personal use.
We regularly monitor the grit levels in the bins according to weather conditions. If we discover grit levels decreasing beyond what the demand should be, there may be misappropriate usage of the grit, which may force us to remove the grit bin permanently.
Can council grit be supplied directly to members of the public?
Grit from council stocks will not be supplied to members of the public. We often get asked if we can drop grit off for people or if they can come and collect some from the depot, but we have to preserve our stocks so we can maintain our critical road network, heavy footfall pavement areas and have enough to fill the borough's grit bins.
What type of grit is placed in the grit bins?
The grit in the bins is the same as the grit we use to treat roads and pedestrian areas. This is because the grit in the grit bins should be used on public roads and pedestrian areas.
The grit is more effective if it is kept dry prior to being spread, so grit bin lids should be kept closed when not in use. If you see any grit bin lids which have been left open please close them to preserve the quality of the grit.
There may be occasions where we have to restrict grit usage though. In these circumstances we may mix the grit in bins with rock salt, grit sand or even use white salt with grit sand. This helps us to preserve grit supplies but it also has the added benefit that it can help make the surface less slippery - especially if it is icy or hard packed snow.