BIN MEN in one London borough will not be collecting food and garden waste bins for a month during the upcoming heatwave.
Waltham Forest Borough Council announced the move on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
GettyResidents of Waltham Forest will not have food and garden waste collected for a month this summer[/caption]
Waltham Forest CouncilThe council announced the move on Twitter on Wednesday[/caption]
The council’s tweet said: “We are suspending brown wheelie bin food/garden waste collections from 15 Aug to 11 Sep.
“We thank all residents for your patience + advise you to continue to dispose of any food/garden waste in brown bins ready for collection from 12 Sep.”
Justifying the announcement, they explained: “The UK has had its driest July since 1885, with rainfall down by 35 per cent over the last six months.
“This means that grass and garden plants have been growing more slowly this summer than expected.
“This has significantly reduced the amount of garden waste being left out by residents to be collected by the Council in recent weeks.”
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The twitter thread concluded by saying: “This temporary measure will help the Council focus on other services over the summer and help reduce unnecessary journeys for our collection vehicles, helping improve air quality and cutting our carbon emissions.”
Local residents expressed their fury on Twitter, with one saying: “Whyyy?! Literally in a heatwave…”
Another added: “that’s 6 weeks of food waste, rotting outside our window in a heatwave.”
If it’s not going to be collected, it’s going in the black bin.”
Emma Best, the leader of Waltham Forest Conservatives who form a minority of the Labour-run council, called the decision “ridiculous”.
She told The Mail: “Bins are already full of festering food with residents having no warning of this decision. The state of these bins in flat blocks will be especially grim in a month’s time.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IN TERMS OF BIN COLLECTION?
According to environmentlaw.com “Your local authority has a legal duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to collect household waste.”
However, this only applies to “household waste” , usually not including recyclable or food waste.
The 1990 Act does say that the council has a responsibility to collect these other types of waste “if requested by the occupier of premises in its area”
It seems there is nothing in the law that specifically prevents a suspension of collection of food and garden waste if demand is not seen to be high enough.
Residents can specifically request the council collects this waste but face an uphill battle to prove a legal requirement.
The other option for residents will not come until the next local election, where the people of Waltham Forest can make their feelings known at the ballot box.
This comes as trade union Unite have announced that waste collection workers in Newham will be striking over pay at the end of the month.
The strike was announced just weeks after UK bin collections were heavily reduced due to the recent heatwave, with bin men saying it was “too hot” to work.
This will leave two London boroughs with at least a partial suspension of bin collection at the same time.
Unite said its members working as drivers, loaders and sweepers in Newham will walk out from August 27 to September 3 after voting by 99% in favour of industrial action.
Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of Unite, said: “Our members are essential for keeping the streets of Newham clean. It’s wrong that they are paid almost £2,000 less than workers in neighbouring councils.”
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Ms Graham’s colleague Steve Edwards, the union’s regional officer, added: “Newham Borough Council still have time to avoid a bin strike during one of London’s hottest summers.”
Both Newham and Waltham Forest borough councils have been contacted for comment.
GettyThis comes as Unite announced that bin men in Newham will go on strike over pay for one week at the end of the month[/caption]