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Fortnightly bin collections - coming to a street near you - Veolia/Haringey have decided

I went to a packed meeting on Tuesday of the Crouch End, Hornsey and Stroud Green Area Forum and Committee.

Packed in every sense of the word in that there were a great many people there (members of the public outnumbered presenters and officers of the council) and in that the agenda ran non-stop with no breaks and covered a great many topics.

One of the most vocal responses  came to the presentation on the change to fortnightly rubbish collections. This was almost as theatrical a show as Mountview one day will be. It had a diverting paper presentation - not quite enough copies to go round so every one was distracted looking over each other's shoulders and passing them from hand to hand; delightful line drawings on each page of the presentation (see the attached pdf); a pantomime villain bin man with a foreign accent to direct our anger at (though this may have backfired - he was actually , young, good looking and the perfect English delivered in exotic French accents was actually quite charming); and theatrical stage props in the form of humungous wheely bins waiting to enter stage right.

Apparently Haringey and Veolia have consulted on this proposal and 80% of respondents are against it. I'm sure I heard that right. So it's going ahead.

Its a very complex proposal, including only some wards and only some streets in some wards and only some types of dwellings in those streets and then only if the audit has determined that the property is actually suitable, so it could hardly be more difficult to understand.

The goals of the changes are apparently to save £900,000 p.a. and to increase recycling rates and to reduce carbon emissions. All admirable goals.

The main objections raised were:

  • my neighbours and the binmen and the wind and the weather are a careless, slovenly lot and even with the small manageable receptacles we have at the moment they can prevent safe ingress and egress to my property by leaving them lying about - the answer lies in the audit apparently
  • with weekly collections if there's a bank holiday then its a fortnight between collections - with fortnightly this could go out to a month - the answer to this is that Veolia work weekends and minor bank holidays to catch up - this does seem to be true
  • by allowing rubbish to build up for a fortnight and recycling moved into a monstrous additional bin everyone's front yard becomes an annex to the refuse and recycling process - in effect every street of conventional Victorian Villas becomes a rubbish dump - the answer to this is 'come and see us we will talk to you'

Tags: -, Fortnightly, Haringey, Veolia, bin, collections

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Totally ridiculous. It's bad enough that our bins have been missed for collection, several weeks running, in the past as the contractors "didn't know where we are", despite being the 2nd largest building on the street and previous refusals to supply us with wheelie-bins eventually led to a rat infestation in our bin store and my flat. So now they want to go bi-weekly on collections and reintroduce a public health risk. Well done Haringey!

Perhaps I'll reduce my council tax payments pro-rata to compensate for the reduction in service.

I am quite often tempted to undertake a spot of civil disobedience, but I rarely get round to it. I'm slightly disappointed that I'm not in the first round of this arrangement - I will be denied the opportunity to take issue with the imposition of this superfluity of bins being forced upon us

Adrian, thanks so much for all your reporting on this.

I am totally against this our rubbish is immense we are 2 adults and 2 small children, I already use 4 boxes for recycling and my bin it completely full each week.

I have tried the brown bucket for food waste but found some weeks it wasn't collected (when I lived in Islington) and it turned into a huge maggott infestation and I am not willing to do this again in the heat.

We are already paying nearly £200 a month council tax!

I have stayed in holiday places where they have fortnightly collections and the bins are overflowing and the smell in revolting.

It is really quite depressing, next we will be having blackouts!

Shame they wont reduce our council tax for this retrograde and foolish decision. Emissions my arse!

I've just seen this item by Lynne Featherstone which casts a bit more light on the consultation. Clearly she has heard something slightly different to me in respect of the consultation about refuse and recycling. What I very definitely heard, and what the officer of the council emphasised, was that the refuse and recycling consultation had over 6,800 responses, more than any other Haringey consultation ever. That must mean it was this consultation from the summer of 2009 which has no reference to fortnightly rubbish collections. Which is just Lynne is saying.

What I thought I heard was that 80% of respondents were against a reduction in frequency. Not sure where that came from .

I've found out where the percent against figure came from - its this quote from the MUSWELL HILL, ALEXANDRA, FORTIS GREEN AND HIGHGATE AREA FORUM AND C...

Councillor Jenks reported that in the absence of any proper Council consultation Councillors from the four wards of the Area Committee carried out their own survey and received 1100 responses with 86% of those responding opposed to fortnightly collection. The rates for individual wards were 86% for Alexandra, and Fortis Green, 85% for Muswell Hill, and 93% for Highgate. 78% of people responding had not been aware about fortnightly collections and 92% of people who responded felt that they should have been consulted.

Cllr Jenks is a Lib Dem and it was a Lib Dem survey that came up with the figures, so this is the opposition flexing its muscles in the course of an Area Committee (a formally constituted body of the council). The committee formally passed a resolution opposing fortnightly collections - which led to a row during which Cllr Canver (not a Lib Dem) was asked not to interrupt. Quite a feisty meeting from the sound of it.

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