The first week of Labour’s new fortnightly collection scheme has been marked by chaos and confusion as residents have reports missed collections, overflowing bins, lack of information and permanently engaged telephone helplines.
Residents have been left furious and confused by the numerous occasions when Brent Council has refused to take away rubbish left out for collection because residents have been unable to operate the new system – often because the council has failed to deliver all the correct bins.
Many Dudden Hill residents did not receive their new recycling bins and food waste containers in time for the start of the new scheme, so had no alternative except to continue using the old system. Yet the council refused to collect bins from households which put out their rubbish as usual.
Local Liberal Democrat councillor David Clues said:
Residents can’t put their recycling into a recycling bin if Brent Council has failed to deliver one to them. The Council put local residents in an impossible position by asking them to sort their rubbish into containers that they don’t have. It’s totally unreasonable for the council to refuse to collect rubbish when it is responsible for creating the problem in the first place.
The council claims that the bins it refused to collect were ‘contaminated’ with recyclable material. However as residents had not received their new recycling bins and accompanying instructions they had no way of operating the new system and did not know that the new system was in operation.
Liberal Democrat Leader Paul Lorber, who warned at a full council meeting back in July that the switch to fortnightly collections and inadequate communications would cause problems said:
The Labour councillors who run Brent Council should be ashamed of their ‘blame the resident’ approach. It’s time they put local residents first and allow some flexibility as people get used to the reduced service that Labour has introduced. For the portfolio holder to say ‘The new recycling scheme seems to be going well’ just shows how out of touch he is.
Residents have experienced problems across the borough. Examples include:
- Many residents have found it difficult or impossible to get through to the council’s advertised helpline on the phone and difficult to find the information they need on the council’s website.
- Many residents have not received the Brent Magazine with information about the changes.
- The only information for some residents has been a leaflet stuck to the top of the blue bin. Households that have not received their blue bin, or have received one blue bin shared between more that one household, have not received the leaflet.
- On Monday, a week after the introduction of the service, residents were still finding it impossible to get through to the council by phone. In the first two days of the new service council staff took over 2,700 calls while many other calls were not answered.
Missed collections and non-delivery of bins
- Blue and green bins not delivered, especially to many flats.
- Aneurin Bevan Court – bins emptied on the wrong day.
- Brondesbury Road – the council removed residents’ old green boxes, in breach of their written pledge saying people could keep their old green boxes and that they would only be removed on request.
- Eton Avenue – green bin collection missed.
- Hanover Road – green organic waste bins not delivered; council refused to collect grey bins with organic waste in it.
- Gladstone Park Gardens – lack of clear information.
- Walton Close – no green organic waste collection for over a week.
- Erin Court, Walm Lane – No collection at all last week of either kind.
If you have experienced problems with the bin service contact Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson Cllr Daniel Brown at email@example.com.