Wheelie Bins Are Rubbish Say Chiswick Residents
Anger building against plans to trial new refuse collection
Chiswick residents in the Riverside ward have voiced their opposition to a Council plan for a six month trial of wheelie bins in their area.
Hounslow Council say the introduction of the new bins would improve recycling and help prevent vermin from attacking bin bags but residents say they are impractical for people living in terraced houses or flats and would be unsightly.
Under the Council's proposal, due for approval as a Single Member Decision by Cllr Colin Ellar on Monday (March 4), the trial would commence in May 2013 of a Wheeled Bin collection (of black sack rubbish only) from 7,500 properties in five areas across the borough. These are Riverside, Syon, Heston West, Hounslow West and Feltham West.
The Council estimated it would cost £125,000 for the trial, including hiring a special vehicle to lift the bins costing £3,600, publicity, and the cost of 7,500 bins of 140 litre size. Larger families could apply for a 240 litre bin. The Council estimated it would save £59,000 a year in landfill fees for the trial area.
Andy Murray of the Grove Park Residents' Group, which is in the Riverside ward, said ; "It has been asserted that wheelie bins will 'improve the street scene' but in Riverside Ward it will do the reverse. It was suggested they would reduce the pavement footprint of bins – it plainly won't, since the use of these tall, ugly bins are designed to complement the existing 5 container system."
He said he believed Riverside ward was chosen because its collection day was a Wednesday and this would fill out a weeks usage of the special wheelie-bin truck needed to lift the bins from the pavement.
"Can I suggest that a small amount of consultation via the local Forums might have refined this action, instead of, as with the tarmac proposal, a 'one size fits all' careless brush stroke? ", he commented.
Local councillor John Todd says his research into other London boroughs where wheelie bins were introduced has found it does not improve recycling and the bins would be a waste of money.
"Of course we all actively support every effort to increase our recycling rate. The more we recycle the less we pay in land fill tax which has recently increased to over £100 per ton.
"The LBH recycling rate is low at 37% low. Richmond 's is 45%, but the correlation between the use of wheeled bins and enhancing our recycling rate is not proven. It may actually encourage residents to give up on recycling. Only 50% of London Boroughs issue wheeled bins. They are not used in Richmond."
He estimated it would cost Hounslow Council over £2 million to issue wheeled bins across the borough if the scheme were to be introduced permanently. And many residents who had built storage areas to accommodate the bags and boxes currently in use would see them rendered redundant. Collection would be a slow cumbersome process and parked cars would inhibit collection.
"The lack of any consultation is significant and regrettable. Residents do want to contribute to this debate and have constructive and perhaps innovative suggestions. Area Forums are the ideal venue to aid this process", said Cllr Todd.
On the question of wheelie bins being better for vermin control, as claimed by the Council, he said that if food was recycled correctly vermin control would not be a problem.
"Many boroughs adopt a robust interventionist approach to recycling. Those residents who refuse are challenged and this is strategy I would recommend and support. Dog owners who foul the footway are subject to being issued a PCN. Residents who decline to correctly recycle should after being warned be punished too."
Cllr Colin Ellar, Hounslow’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: “Councillors share the concerns that many residents have expressed that often there is rubbish on our streets. One of the causes is that refuse is spilled onto the streets from black sacks before collection, because of animals breaking them open. A possible solution to this problem for some areas is to move to wheeled bins, and I would like to trial this approach and see if it will improve the cleanliness of our streets.
“I am taking a report to cabinet in March proposing that we try wheeled bins for a six-month pilot in five small areas spread across the borough. Residents in those areas will be able to judge for themselves during this trial period whether or not they find their streets cleaner and if the bins are convenient to use,” said Cllr Ellar.
One local councillor Sam Hearn, who lives in Riverside ward, said on the ChiswickW4.com forum that it was yet another example of HounsloC council taking decisions about matters for W4 which he felt should be referred to the Chiswick Area Forum first for discussion by local councillors.
March 1, 2013