Two Wheelie Bins For Ealing's Rubbish

Waste and recycling to be collected on alternate weeks

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Two Wheelie Bins For Ealing's Rubbish

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Ealing Borough's rubbish and recycling collection is to be downgraded from weekly to fortnightly and wheelie bins are on the way.

A cost cutting package will be put before the Cabinet next week and included - amongst a raft of measures - is the prospect of fortnightly rubbish collections for the whole of the borough including Acton and parts of Chiswick.

The council has to make £96 million in savings in the next four years and says it has no option but to fundamentally change and stop some services by spring 2019.

More than 400 staff have been put at risk of redundancy and there are warnings that local services will face big cuts too.

The changes - which would start in 2016 - would see residents getting two free wheelie bins. Food waste would continue to be collected weekly but other collections would be alternate weeks - one week for general waste and the following week, recycling.

Flats and homes unable to store wheelie bins would continue with black sacks, with clear sacks for recycling.

The system is already in operation in nearby boroughs and the Council believe it will help increase recycling and save nearly a million pounds.

Ealing are also proposing to reduce the number of Envirocrime Prevention Officers by half from 12 to 6. These are the Council employees responsible for monitoring fly-tipping - many people fear this may increase as a result of fortnightly collections.

Councillor Julian Bell said: 'Without the money needed to make ends meet we have been left with no choice but to think the unthinkable and to make these heart-breaking decisions... We have to prioritise and concentrate our funding on fewer things which we believe will have the greatest impact on improving the lives of local people.''

The plans have been met with anger from the opposition parties.

Cllr Greg Stafford, Leader of the Conservative Group said: ''In 2011, when Labour appointed new contractors, they quietly priced in the option to move to a fortnightly service.  They tested the waters first with the garden waste service which also became chargeable. Despite this change being a massive failure, with the fly tipping increasing and borough’s recycling rate in decline, Labour are now planning to impose wheelie bins on all of us and move the waste and recycling services to fortnightly under the pretext of budget pressures.

''Labour is sitting on millions in reserves, and whilst they were happy to dip into to award themselves a pay increase, they are not willing to fund vital frontline services.  As it is, the current contractor cannot collect the weekly waste and recycling in a timely fashion.  Moving to a fortnightly service will only exacerbate this problem.  It’s quite clear that rather than defending our services, Labour is hell-bent on destroying them.”

Liberal Democrat Gary Malcolm said: "Liberal Democrats are against this move as it is very likely to cause even more problems with foxes and rats opening missed bags of household waste. There will also be more litter to sweep up. The priority should be to ensure our streets are kept clean and missed collections do not occur. Labour said they were against this and so no one should trust them now.''

The budget proposals will go before Cabinet for approval on 25th November.

19th November 2014