Challenge To Council's Wheeled Bin 'Success' Survey

Local group says figures for Chiswick Riverside do not tell the full story


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A Hounslow Council survey which claims that a trial of wheeled bins was a 'success' has been challenged by a Chiswick group which represents residents in Riverside ward which was part of the trial.

Hounslow Council have now published the results of its survey although it reveals  that only 59% of Chiswick’s replies have been assessed, and those show that Chiswick residents have not changed their recycling habits.

The Council is anxious to introduce the bins to encourage recycling and also to reduce the incidence of spilled black bin bags which can attract vermin.

The Council has only processed 59% of the replies received. Furthermore only 33% of people responded out of the 1,319 people trialled in Chiswick Riverside.

The Grove Park Group, which represents residents in the Grove Park trial area, points out that the full report (published as part of the Agenda for this week Overview & Scrutiny Committee) shows that, even though not all data has been processed, Chiswick Riverside residents also  overwhelmingly  stated that wheelie bins had had minimal effect on their behaviour.

"Much as we would all support an effective initiative to increase the recycling rate, the Council's own sample shows so far only minimal improvement in recycling in Chiswick Riverside – certainly not enough to justify the expense of continuing the wheelie bin experiment.

"A robust trial would have used empirical data, not residents’ impressions, but, leaving that aside, on the basis of this report, an average of 82% of respondents claim no change in their recycling – so you could not regard it as a ’success’ in Chiswick Riverside." says Mr. Andy Murray, Chair of the GPG.

He added:  “ Furthermore, Hounslow have chosen to publish figures without completing the data collation; of the 434 replies (out of 1,319 taking part), Hounslow have assessed only 258 (or 59%) so far. If they announce that an apparent  85% of Riverside residents wish to continue to use wheelie bins, then they should give equal prominence to what residents say about their effectiveness. I look forward to seeing the full report when complete, although the 33% response  rate is neither  ‘very good’  nor a majority of the local Chiswick trial users."        

The Council's report, which will be discussed at Thursday’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, can be seen here.

Mr. Murray noted that the Council plan to deliver the complete updated report to Cllr Colin Ellar, the Lead Member, and expressed a hope that it would be published straight away, as was the interim report.

Chiswick Councillor John Todd is also sceptical of the survey results and has said in the past that his research into other London boroughs where wheelie bins are introduced has found it does not improve recycling.

Cllr Colin Ellar said: “Firstly I would like to thank Chiswick residents for their response to the survey. I think 33 per cent is quite respectable for consultations of this kind, and definitely would compare favourably with public engagement levels anywhere in London.

“I would also like to clarify a few points being made by residents. For the first question in the survey ‘Are you in favour of your wheelie bin?’ 85 per cent of respondents from Chiswick said yes. 100% of all the responses from Chiswick residents are included in the figure.

“That in my book is hugely positive. On top of that, Chiswick’s recycling rate has increased by four per cent– which is good news for the environment and also helps save council taxpayers money from going to landfill tax instead of improved services.”


October 24, 2014

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