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enfield wheelie binsAt its meeting on 13th February Enfield's Cabinet will be discussing proposed changes to waste collection services for households with "wheelie bins". If the Cabinet approves the recommended option, Enfield will  join the growing list of UK local authorities (82 per cent of all LAs) that no longer collect refuse every week.

The report drawn up for the meeting recommends changing collection of refuse and of dry recycling to once a fortnight, setting up a weekly collection of kitchen waste and charging for collection of garden waste.  This option was the least popular among respondents to the consultation which ran from October to the start of this year, but is the one that will save the most money.

The main features of the recommendations are:

  • Refuse (black-top bin) collections to be provided once a fortnight, retaining the current black-top bin (larger bins would be available in some specific cases, eg households with two children using nappies)
  • Dry recycling (blue-top bin) collections to be provided once a fortnight in alternate weeks to the black-top bin collections. Properties with small bins would be able to swap them for large bins.
  • A commitment by the council to collect all dry recycling produced by a household - if the bin is full, items for recycling could be put out on the pavement in suitable containers
  • A separate weekly food waste collection. For the first year of the scheme households would be issued with free bin liners.
  • A £65 per annum charge per garden waste bin (opt-in).
  • Weekly food waste collection an charging for garden waste collection would start in November 2019, fortnightly refuse and dry recycling collections would begin in spring 2020.
  • Investment in measures to reduce flytipping and littering: recruitment of two additional Recycling Officers and two additional Enforcement Officers, plus an additional £0.5 million a year spent on street cleaning.

enfield council wheelie bin consultation options october 2018

The graphic used in last year's consultation.  The report to Enfield's Cabinet recommends changes as per option 7

The recommendation to the Cabinet is supported by a detailed analysis of the responses to the public consultation held between October 2018 and early January this year.  Unsurprisingly, Option 7 was the least popular, with 79 per cent of respondents "strongly disagreeing", while the most popular was retaining the current collection arrangements (46 per cent strongly agreed).  Second most popular was Option 2 (ruled out in any case because not in conformity with policies announced by both the Mayor of London and the government that there should be weekly collections of kitchen waste).

However, the original consultation made it clear that popularity with residents would not be the most important factor when deciding:

"The criteria for the options appraisal will be financial savings, conformity with the Mayor’s Environment Strategy, and the responses to the consultation. To that end, the Council is facing significant budget pressures and the primary driver will be the amount of financial savings projected. All options will be considered in light of the consultation responses and all relevant factors will be considered before a decision is reached."

The need for financial savings arises not just because of swingeing cuts in government support to local authorities since 2010, but also because the government is not renewing a grant of £2.46 million that it gave to Enfield to retain weekly collections for waste and recycling.

The new arrangements will apply only to the approximately 87,500 properties that use wheelie bins, not to the 2,500 properties that use bags or the 40,000 flats where communal facilities are provided.

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David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4385 13 Feb 2019 17:10
So basically they consulted and then just went with the option that saved the most money - No.7. As much as I bought into this more than many, that's pretty pathetic, and synonymous with local government bureaucracy.
Neil Littman's Avatar
Neil Littman posted a reply #4386 14 Feb 2019 07:39
As undemocratic a decision as ever. Even with two council tax rises in the past three years they cannot afford to collect our rubbish. Also no mention in the consultation of the several hundred households in the borough that have dispensation (that is the word they use) to leave out rubbish in grey and blue bags due to lack of room for wheelie bins. My home opens directly onto the street as do many others nearby. There is nowhere to store the food waste etc. I don't mind keeping the recycling for another week but the food waste in the grey bags needs to be collected. Also nothing said about the capacity of the bin lorries. The same amount of rubbish but only half the number of collections. What if they cannot take it all at once? Do the bin men lose half their wages or do they cut the work force. We have heard nothing about this.
Neil Littman's Avatar
Neil Littman posted a reply #4387 14 Feb 2019 11:13
Also to add one further comment, it was reported in the news yesterday that all councils are raising council tax by the maximum of 2.5% to presumably even this is not enough to cover the existing cost of bin collections? This means Enfield Council will have put council tax up by nearly 7% in the past three years.
Roger Blows's Avatar
Roger Blows posted a reply #4392 15 Feb 2019 17:46
No one would compare the rubbish bin consultation with the EU referendum - well, maybe that would be too tempting - but it is funny, is it not, that having found out that 66% of those responding prefer current arrangements, the LBE Cabinet opts for Option 7 which attracted 8.5%, the least popular of the choices presented. No cry here of “we must deliver the people’s choice!” Of course, the Administration can justifiably point to the tiny proportion of Council Tax payers who took part in the consultation, in stark contrast to the numbers who cast a vote in the referendum. But it’s interesting to reflect on the Council’s obvious failure to persuade the public of the merits of Option 7, even though it allegedly offers the most revenue savings further down the track and supposedly prompts a higher level of recycling. Let’s hope there will be some serious thinking in the Civic Centre about how to handle consultations. Let’s also hope that before too long there will be a return to decent levels of central funding for local authorities and their services.
Neil Littman's Avatar
Neil Littman posted a reply #4394 16 Feb 2019 09:52
Found out since then that 2,500 households in the borough, like mine, that have bag collections once a week will continue to do so while the rest have a collection every two weeks. I think this is very divisive whichever way you look at it. The council have yet to announce how they will manage this.
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #4395 16 Feb 2019 10:31
A reading of key waste reports, either at London or North London levels, will highlight that in waste collection all things are actually not equal, and sensibly so: flats in particular pose recycling and collection issues fundamentally different to suburban streets full of houses, and that’s irrespective of garden waste. Different collection regimes are needed but no one is realistically seeing them as being divisive as is suggested in the recent PGC posting.

Going deeper in to the Mayors (statutorily required) Municipal Waste Strategy, published last year after consultation, probably lie many of the clues to LBE’s current plans, eg:

"Boroughs are encouraged to consider a range of measures to restrict residual waste, for example through smaller bin containers or changes to collection frequency". (Families of five or more can apply to LBE have one of the larger bins.); and, "to help them achieve the recycling targets, waste authorities (which includes LBE as a Waste Collection Authority) should deliver the following minimum level of service for household recycling:
• all properties with kerbside recycling collections to receive a separate weekly food waste collection"


Why these are being suggested make sense once you’ve read the material – basically waste costs an awful lot to dispose of under relatively recent tax changes , often is not all that environmentally favourable, is often a valuable resource and we need to do better with it than simply sticking it in the ground or burning it.

I didn’t reply to the consultation on the basis I had an inkling but i'm100% with Roger on the need to better handle consultations.
Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #4407 22 Feb 2019 11:17
A note on "Other Consutations" in the weekly news letter referes to a DEFRA consultation on resource and and waste which closes on 13 May. This is an interesting analysis of the problem at national level, seeking to set out a coherent national strategy. If adopted it seems to me that it will have many benefits, not least that the avoids the current situation where every local authority has its own rules and procedures. It proposes central government funding to cover the net costs of changes and additional running costs. One feature is that it anaylsis the issues of garden waste collection, and suggests that free collection should be the standard, and explains why.
The consultation is at
consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/resource-and-waste-and-plastic-packaging-tax-consu-1/

See also...

  • 31 July 2019

Wheelie bins petition relaunched

More than two thousand Enfield residents have signed a new petition calling on Enfield Council to abandon its plans to reduce the frequency with which 'wheelie bins' are emptied from once a week to once a fortnight. This follows the council's refusal to accept an earlier version of the petition, supported by more than 6000 people, because signatories' addresses were not included. Read more

  • 01 June 2018

Friendship Matters: A free event for older people

On Friday 22 June an event is being arranged especially focused on older people living in Enfield. This Friendship Matters event is aimed at attracting those who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation to attend and become engaged by meeting with individuals and groups and thereby improve their quality of life. Read more