Furious Brent residents rubbish new bin collection service

Council department responsible for waste receives 2,700 calls in two days

The borough’s heralded bin collection service which cost taxpayers’ �1.7million has been rubbished by furious residents who have swamped the council’s helpline.

The controversial changes launched last week, where household rubbish and dry recyclables will be collected fortnightly, have been tarnished with chaos and confusion in its first week.

Residents have complained of missed collections, overflowing bins, lack of information and constantly engaged helplines.

Council figures show that during the first two days of the roll-out, 2,700 calls were made to the department that deals with bin collections.

However the council does not know if each call was made specifically about the new bin collections because the same department deals with environment in general and street sweeping.

Alison Hopkins, 56, of Humber Road, Dollis Hill, said: “The word to describe it is fiasco.

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“Many of the side streets around my road have not had their bins collected. Bins are full to overflowing. Rubbish is blowing all over the place.

“There has been complete confusion. I have had to mark on my calendar when to put what colour bins out.

“I’m all for recycling but this is too confusing. It’s a nightmare.”

Residents have been given a new blue top bin and a grey landfill bin which will be collected on alternate weeks.

Food waste will continue to be collected every week.

But Reverend David Clues, Liberal Democrat councillor, claimed residents in his Dudden Hill ward did not receive their new bins.

He said: “People can’t put their recycling into a recycling bin if the council has failed to deliver them.

“The council put local residents in an impossible position by asking them to sort their rubbish into containers they don’t have.”

Shahrar Ali, Brent Green Party spokesman, criticised the scheme for forcing residents to mix plastics, glass and paper together.

He said: “Co-mingling for recyclables is questionable, as it may incur hazardous working conditions.

“The cost of the bins, at a time of great cuts, is surely too high.”

Elaine Henderson, spokeswoman for Brent Friends of the Earth, added: “We raised questions about the new co-mingled collection system and also whether �1.7million spent on new bins can be justified in view of cuts to street sweeping and other services.

“Now that glass is thrown in the bins, we are all living next to noisy bottle banks and it is the broken glass that contaminates paper and other recyclables.”

But the council refuted claims there have been major problems.

A spokeswoman said: “Given the change the council recognises that some residents may struggle to adjust to the new waste and recycling collection service during the first weeks of operation of the new service.

“Some problems have occurred in a minority of areas and the council has dealt with these issues effectively.”

n What do you think of the new waste collection service? Have you had any problems? Email tara.brady@archant.co.uk