Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not a creature was stirring, except for 166% more rubbish lorries.

I've received a leaflet from Greenwich Council informing me of the rubbish collection dates over the Christmas period, it also includes a letter from Councillor Rajwant Sidhu congratulating residents for supporting the new collection scheme.

Supporting? Congratulating?

What fantasy fairy tale world is Councillor Rajwant Sidhu living in?

Further on in the leaflet there is an admission that there is a "relatively high volume of waste being placed in the wrong bin." Perhaps the truth is beginning to penetrate the sand in which the Council has it's collective head stuck.

So what is going on?

Well one measure might be how many collections per week the Council is doing.

Under the old system there would be a green bin, what was all waste, every week and recycling every other week. So on average 1.5 collection lorries a week would roll down your street.

Under the new scheme the theory is that green and blue are taken every week and black sacks once per fortnight. So that's 5 lorries every two weeks, or 2.5 a week.

The practice of the new scheme in my road is that green bins, blue bins and black sacks are taken every week. There is then an additional collection the day after to empty the bins that have the wrong waste in them. So that's 4 rubbish lorries trundling down my road every single week.

They have to do this weekly black sack and "contaminated bin" collection because so many people are continuing to completely ignore the new scheme and keep on doing the same thing.

Now the Council could try and tackle the problem by going to talk to those residents who continually put the wrong rubbish out.

But no.

The Council would rather spend our money funding a 60% increase in the number of bin lorries per week (I'm getting 4 lorries a week, compared to the 2.5 I should get under the new scheme). To do this it appears that they're having to charter in lorries (and staff?) from external companies.

But apparently they do have a long term solution! Black wheely bins will be making a reappearance! Somehow people that aren't bothered to use a two bin system correctly will magically do the right thing when presented with three of them.

And how much will that extra bin cost?

All to avoid actually admitting there's a problem and talking to people.

What do we gain from the new scheme? Well we've boosted our recycling rate by 40%, which is a good thing.

But what's the price the Council are having us pay?

Well compared to the old scheme when I had 1.5 lorries a week and I now have 4 the price for 40% more recycling is:
  • 166% more rubbish collections.
  • 166% more diesal consumed and fumes emitted.
  • 166% more working hours for rubbish collection staff.

Does that seem economical or green?

Well in the wonderful world of Greenwich Council it surely must.

Consider though that Greenwich Council are planning to cut childrens services but can find the money to continually paper over the problems with their new rubbish scheme.

Could it be that the rubbish problems they've caused might actually make the electorate turn away from them and that their seats are more important than children?

Edited to add: As Simon has pointed out my maths went a bit pear shaped... I think I got caught up with my comparisons with the new scheme as it should be and the new scheme as it is and it all went downhill from there.

To clarify under the old scheme I had 1.5 bin lorries roll down my street every week.

Under the new scheme I should have 2.5, 1 extra or an increase of 66%.

Under the way the Council are working I get 4 lorries per week. That's 2.5 more than the old scheme, an increase of 166%, and 1.5 more than the new scheme should be which is an increase of 60%.


Nat@London Calling said...

A weekly black bin collection. Isn't that essentially admitting the failure of the 'Green, Blue, Black' scheme. Now all the people who can't be bothered can just put all their rubbish in the black bin and get it collected every week.

Charlton Average said...

I "think" the intention is to empty that black bin every two weeks.

I'm not sure that's going to work, people are currently filling a green bin with the "wrong" rubbish within a week.

So after that week will they just dump it on the street?

Or will they dump it into their other bins like they're doing at the moment?

Either way it's no real resolution.

J J said...

You still haven't cottoned on have you.
This whole bin collection fiasco is simply a job creation scheme.

Simon said...

Can I be pedantic?

It's actually a 166% increase rather then 66%!