Ealing Rubbish Collection Discussed

Councillors agree on proposals to avoid ‘fiasco’ repeat

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Rubbish - What Went Wrong?

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A cross-party scrutiny committee has approved a number of recommendations following April’s waste collection problems in Ealing borough.

Three recommendations were put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors and agreed by all three parties at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday (June 21st).

The recommendations are there to prevent a future problem with waste collection contracts:

To ensure that key messages are collated more quickly so that the most important messages can be disseminated more effectively to residents and councillors

To increase the communication with residents’ associations and other similar community bodies so that they can be informed of information that will help residents have more information when difficult situations arise.

That the relevant officers and portfolio holder publish in advance of the start dates of new and large contracts (like the Enterprise waste collection contact):

  • Details of any changes from the previous contact
  • Modelling conducted by contractors and the Council to show that these changes in contractual operations are not likely to cause problems
  • Details of fall-back plans to cover eventualities when a contract commitment is not completed

Councillor Gary Malcolm, Leader of the Ealing Liberal Democrats, said: "The Liberal Democrats wanted to hear publically from Enterprise and so we got the topic added to the agenda so this could happen. Interestingly it appeared that Enterprise knew things were not right about 7 to 10 days before the waste contact started.

Also Ealing Council officers did not go into the detail to check the altered rounds sizes which was one of the main causes of the problems. The Liberal Democrat recommendations will help safeguard Ealing from the same fiasco from happening again."

Details can be read on Cllr. Malcolm's blog:


Cllr Phil Taylor, Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said:

“The fact that Overview & Scrutiny has requested that a further progress report is given on 16 August, confirms that we were right to keep asking those difficult questions as to why the implementation of the service was so rubbish. 

Key facts finally emerged confirming that only 5 out of 10 vehicles ordered to perform a proper kerbside re-cycling service had been delivered so far and that it would be the end of July before the full kerbside sorting service would be implemented across the borough. 

Once all of the vehicles have been delivered by the end of July, the contractor will then be able to get the various rounds finally sorted out and some semblance of normal service may be resumed by the end of August. 

This is just a terrible service for residents who will wonder why it takes 5 months to get such a basic service right.”

28th June 2012