Council U-turns on decision to pause brown bin collections

A day after announcing the month-long pause, the council has changed its mind
By Waltham Forest Echo

Brown and black bins in Waltham Forest (credit: WF Council)
Brown and black bins in Waltham Forest (credit: WF Council)

Waltham Forest Council has cancelled plans to suspend brown bin collections from a month from next week after resident uproar.

Yesterday, 10th August, the council announced collections of food and garden waste would pause from 15th August until 11th September due to July’s dry weather.

A council statement said the “driest July since 1885” meant “grass and garden plants have been growing more slowly”, resulting in a drop in garden waste.

However, after furious residents pointed out their food waste would still accumulate over the month, the council decided to reverse its decision today.

Deputy leader Cllr Clyde Loakes wrote: “We have listened to the concerns of residents over the last 24 hours and decided that we will not be temporarily suspending brown wheelie bin food and garden waste collections.

“We are grateful to everyone who takes the time and effort to put food waste into their brown wheelie bin and we do not want people to be inconvenienced in the summer heat.

“A combination of the extreme dry weather and the usual summer holiday season means the amount being collected from the brown wheelie bins is at a record low, with many bins being virtually or completely empty.

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“This has come at a time of extra pressure on the service due to staff shortages brought about by the prolonged period of hot weather and an increase in covid cases.

“Please only put bins out for collection when they contain items so they can be quickly and easily emptied, and be patient and bear with our hard-working bin crews as they carry out this physically demanding work in very hot weather.”

The council had previously argued that the temporary suspension would allow staff to “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”.

In a public Facebook comment on the original announcement, resident Alexa Louise wrote: “Surely it would have been wiser to inform everyone of this before the last collection and before the brown bins were refilled?

“That would have given people the chance to put waste in the black bin instead, but it’s now difficult or impossible to transfer.

“Our brown bin has not been collected recently, is full and will probably be a pile of stinking sludge by September.”

Find out more about bin collections on the council’s website here.

This article was edited post-publication to reflect the council’s decision not to go ahead with the expansion.

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