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Changes to Lewisham refuse collection services
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Posts: 421
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #1
17-04-2016 11:32 AM


Report Title ‘Let’s Talk Rubbish’ Consultation Results & Waste Regulations
Assessment for Proposed Changes to Waste & Recycling Service
Key Decision Yes Item No.
Ward All
Contributors Executive Director Customer Services
Class Open Date: 10 February 2016
1. Summary
1.1. This paper reports back the results of two pieces of work that have been undertaken over the
past few months. The first sections looks at the results from the ‘Let’s Talk Rubbish’
consultation and later sections look at potential service scenarios against environmental
performance, financial implications and operational deliverability and the likely compliance
with The Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012. Any potential changes
to the waste and recycling services will be to kerbside properties in the first instance, i.e.
those typically who use a wheelie bin for their refuse and recycling collections. Services
provided to estates will be looked at in later phases.
2. Purpose
2.1. The purpose of this report details the findings of the ‘Let’s Talk Rubbish’ consultation and the
Necessity and TEEP (Technical, Environmental & Economic Practicability) Assessment,
which tests compliance with the Waste Regulations 2012. Recommendations are then
proposed as to the potential future development of Lewisham’s Waste & Recycling Services
for kerbside properties, i.e. those that typically have wheelie bin collections for refuse and
3. Recommendations
The Mayor is recommended to:
3.1 Note the results of the ‘Let’s Talk Rubbish’ consultation and Waste Regulations (TEEP)
3.2 Introduce a subscription garden waste service from June 2016 at an annual fee of £60 p.a.;
3.3 Introduce a weekly food collection service and reduce refuse collections to fortnightly (earliest
implementation date of Autumn 2016);
3.4 Keep a weekly comingled recycling service whilst options to share services and contracts
with neighbouring boroughs are further explored.

This post was last modified: 17-04-2016 11:40 AM by samuelsen.

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Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #2
17-04-2016 12:31 PM

Wow, this is crazy, Lewisham already has a rubbish problem with weekly collections taking place.

There is also a real problem in this borough with fly tipping and lack of use of the large items collection service.

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Posts: 1,402
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
17-04-2016 04:53 PM

If they introduce fortnightly collections, they will still have the same amount of rubbish o collect. I put out one bin each week. I will put out two bins fortnightly. I cannot see any saving.

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Banned Troll

Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #4
17-04-2016 06:02 PM

[Post removed due to abuse -admin]

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
17-04-2016 06:24 PM

we have 1 green bin and two grey bins. They are full to overflowing every week. Not sure what our pavement will look like after two weeks.

Stupidity in action.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #6
17-04-2016 06:44 PM

It proposes a weekly 'food collection'. So presumably that means another bin just for food. How much will that cost? How does it work in other boroughs that provide those little kitchen food bins and bags?

My grey bin is usually ⅔ full each week. There are five of us - four adults and one teenager. Oh, and the dog. I'd say less than half is food waste. I'd probably be fine with a weekly food collection and fortnightly grey bin collection.

My green bin is usually jammed full but I'm lazy about breaking down boxes and squashing bottles. In sny case, the weekly recycling is being kept on.

This post was last modified: 17-04-2016 06:48 PM by rshdunlop.

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Posts: 421
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #7
17-04-2016 07:31 PM

The Council have already reduced the size of the grey bin by 50%, now they want to reduce collections to every fortnight whilst also introducing a food waste bin.

So I have the following questions, if the Council reduce collections to every fortnight, the grey bin will be over flowing and will not hold two weeks of rubbish, what are we supposed to do?

How do the Council intend to deal with the increased vermin issues these changes will result in?

What saving is the Council expecting to make, as they will have twice as much rubbish to collect every fortnight?

Was it not short sighted to remove and issue the smaller rubbish bins?

What are the bin men going to do on the week they do not do the collection? Are they going part time?

Where are we supposed to keep the food waste bin?

What are the cost savings for the food waste?

What will be the frequency of the food waste collection?

Will the food waste result in an additional collection every week/every other week?

Will the third collection result in additional vehicles solely for the food collection waste?

What are the Council going to do if I do not wish to participate in the food waste collection?

Have the Council not heard of the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it"?

If the Council are going to reduce the overall waste collection service, HOW MUCH ARE THE COUNCIL GOING TO REDUCE THE COUNCIL TAX AS THEY ARE CHANGING THE SERVICE?

If the Council implement this system, I for one will cease all recycling and EVERYTHING is going in the grey rubbish bin.

This post was last modified: 17-04-2016 07:33 PM by samuelsen.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #8
17-04-2016 11:28 PM

My grey bin & green bin are almost full on weekly collection days, so needs just that "a weekly collection"!

Erm & I don't have space for more than one of each otherwise I would have to clutter the Street!

I'm looking forward to someone answering Samuelsen's questions, I too would like the answers!

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #9
18-04-2016 06:11 AM

Under these proposals green bins would still be emptied weekly.

If you had a food bin, your grey bin would not be as full so fortnightly might be okay. Food bins would be emptied weekly.

However, I agree about questions re extra kerbside bins. I also wonder what the economic reasoning is behind having separate food collections which would have upfront costs of new bins kerbside and presumably also in the home. Does the fact the waste has been sorted by householders significantly reduce costs at the waste management plant?

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Posts: 627
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
18-04-2016 08:22 AM

I don't know the Council answers but hopefully this means that the food waste will go to make commercial compost and cut our main waste by roughly half. In our borough's case this will reduce the carbon emissions due to incineration.

It principally looks like a strategy to encourage more recycling to me. I think that Lewisham scores comparatively low in this regard:

Am glad that the combined recycling collection is being retained. I think that if the aim to increase recycling rates then we should make it easy for people. I suppose it is still even easier to just not bother. This is trying to nudge behaviour in the green direction.

My 2p.

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Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #11
18-04-2016 08:53 AM

This is the norm in neighbouring boroughs. Bromley and Lambeth both have the food collection bins seperate to the main bins where you end up with the small tub for the kitchen which you empty into a small container outside. Think Lewishsm was one of the last boroughs to still offer weekly collections - let's hope they don't follow this council and move to monthly collections!!

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Posts: 513
Joined: May 2012
Post: #12
18-04-2016 09:34 AM

What are the bin men going to do on the week they do not do the collection? Are they going part time?

I doubt it. Half of them will be working as hard as they are now. The other half will be looking for work. The waste company will have reduced costs, the council will have lower bills. Okay, I doubt it will be a 50% cut, given all the other issues - but sure as eggs is eggs, there will be job losses coming out of this.

Does the fact the waste has been sorted by householders significantly reduce costs at the waste management plant?

Good point. That's almost certainly true. The other thing that I just thought of - so no idea whether it's right or not - is that by getting the yucky, squishy food out of the grey bin, it's easier to sort out the contents of the grey bin into stuff that can be burned for energy and stuff that has to go to landfill. One of the things that waste companies complain about is 'contamination' - eg, putting food in the recycling bin, etc. This is probably the next stage by making separate provision for the material that causes the most mess - waste food.

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Posts: 60
Joined: Sep 2014
Post: #13
18-04-2016 09:38 AM

I agree with lacb, this action by Lewisham is to reduce the amount of waste that the borough produces.

For justification, see this article, for example.

Lewisham is the worst borough in the country for recycling and could face “significant” fines if it doesn’t improve its recycling rate. The latest council figures show the rate has dropped from 17.7 per cent in 2013-2014 to just 17.05 per cent in 2014-15.

Food waste will likely be quite dense in comparison to other waste due to its high water content, thus separating this and recycling it is important when trying to increase the total amount of waste recycled which is measured by weight rather than by volume.

So, samuelsen, I would urge you not to avoid recycling anything in protest as this may cause further fines leading an even more draconian recycling policy from the council.

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Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #14
18-04-2016 09:45 AM

The refuse collectors will not be getting a week off. They will be collecting green bins, food bins and garden waste bins every week. Every other week they will also collect grey bins. That's MORE collections than now.

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Post: #15
18-04-2016 10:24 AM

We live in a converted house. Three flats. Seven adults, three kids. All flats are uber keen on recycling. There is little if no food waste as it is...well it's a waste. If you don't eat it dont buy it. We have two grey bins, one green bin and as of this morning a brown bin. We would need 4 grey bins, 2 green bins and our brown bin. Not sure where all these bins would be kept?

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Devonish Forester

Posts: 62
Joined: Nov 2015
Post: #16
18-04-2016 10:33 AM

Once a week collection is worth fighting for. Many reasons have already been given above, but I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned that overflows from wheelie bins will likely cause an increase in vermin, especially if Lewisham tries to insist on one bin per household - regardless of how many people comprise the household.

There are other ways to save/make money - Lewisham residents have to pay a 'congestion charge' (i.e. toll) when we drive into City of London or City of Westminster. Why is there no reciprocal charge, especially for the compactors and other heavy container trucks that come in to the recycling centres in Lewisham from Westminster?

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Post: #17
18-04-2016 10:45 AM

Londondrz - why would you need an extra green bin? They will still be collected weekly under the new scheme.

I doubt they will be handing out any extra grey bins if the aim is to reduce what goes into them.

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Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #18
18-04-2016 10:57 AM

I think fly-tipping has got worse recently, I don't know why, but practically every street I walk down in Forest Hill has a pile of rubbish left on the pavement. I've also had rubbish dumped outside my house (most recently, a dirty old pedal bin, delightful....).
(And yes, I do report the fly-tips on my local streets, but it would be a full-time job to do every one I drive past!). There is a massive pile of rubbish including an old rusty bed on Stanstead Road near the junction with Cranston Road that has been there ages and looks quite dangerous. It must make going along the pavement for anyone with wheelchairs/buggies/visual impairment quite a challenge. Plus it all makes the area look so shabby. Also one piece of rubbish gets dumped and its like an open invitation for more and more to get dumped there. Would it be too much for the Council to have a van drive round once a week and pick up fly-tipping?
Also I think they should improve local recycling facilities for getting rid of things like small electricals, batteries, lightbulbs, textiles etc. It is a confusing system so no wonder people dump stuff. I use the waste recycling containers at Sainsburys in Sydenham, but often they are completely full and surrounded by rubbish.

A lot of people don't have cars in London, so its not practical to recommend everyone goes to the Landmann way site. I know the Council operate a large item collection service but they won't take everything. So what are people supposed to do if they don't have a car but have a large item that the Council won't collect? (e.g fence panels, doors). Yes - they dump it....

Batteries - according to the Lewisham website you have to contact the council for a battery bag - so why not provide one to every household anyway? There are battery bins around but they often seem to get moved, one week it's there, the next it is gone, the one at Sainsburys in Sydenham is never open.

Small Electricals is another issue - according to the Council website there isn't a small electrical recycling point in SE23, you have to go to Catford or Sydenham. Why not have one in SE23? I thought there used to be one at Sainsburys in Forest Hill?

I am quite a conscientious recycler, and if I find it a hassle, then no wonder a lot of people don't bother.

As for the bins - my grey bin is usually only half full, so every other week would be OK for us if they were collecting food waste weekly. Our recyling bin is always completely full so that would definitely have to be collected every week. (Family of 5, but we have a compost bin in the garden which I am aware is not an option for a lot of people and have just ordered a brown bin).

So my overall verdict - every other week is OK for us but they need to do more to address fly-tipping and local recycling facilities.

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Post: #19
18-04-2016 10:57 AM

I do not see why this would attract any more vermin. The food waste collection will be weekly.

I can see why a building of 7 adults and 3 kids might need an extra green bin. Our 2+2 household often manages to fill our green bin. We actually produce very little grey bin waste, only one trip to the grey bin a week required. I find the recycling habit well worth it as would rather wash and squash packaging than make multiple trips a week with smelly bin bags.

We do compost fruit & veg scraps & peelings so there is very little food waste. I realise that is not an option for everyone though so can see why the council is doing this.

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Post: #20
18-04-2016 01:10 PM

RSHD, my mistake. So we only need 5 bins. As I said, we try hard to reduce out waste as much as possible but three households still produce a lot. We were looking at getting another green bin and reducing the grey bins by one but that wouldnt work now.

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