Friday, February 27, 2009

RIP Bi-Weekly Bin Collections

Firstly a question. What should I refer to the bin collection system as? I would normally call it the "new bin scheme" but it's now over a year old. However it's also still not working as it should with the Council refusing to tackle the problems that have been apparent with it from almost it's very first week. "The bin scheme the Council couldn't be bothered to fix" is perhaps accurate, but a bit of a mouthful. For now I'll stick with the "new bin scheme" and we'll probably still be calling it that and discussing it's continued failings in another years time.


It appears that the Council have silently backed away from one of the key ideas of the new scheme, bi-weekly collections of black sack rubbish.

Did Greenwich Time tell me this? Well no they didn't, though I'm sure that they soon will once they can come up with some spin as to how it's a good thing for us residents and not a sign of Council ineptitude. Local blogger 853 was the first place I heard about it, and he heard about it from Councillor Nigel Fletcher's blog.

It's actually very nice to see Councillor Fletcher blogging about genuinely local issues. I've commented in the past that Councillor Fletcher seems to have his eye more on Westminster than the people who choose him to represent them. His blog used to be full of "I'm Dave Cameron's mate", "I'm President Obama's mate" or "the national Labour Government sucks" type stories of hardly any relevance to his actual position.

However it's also interesting to note that this stepping up in gear and shift back to local issues happens at the same time that we see David Evennett, the MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, blogging on the News Shopper web site. He's facing an election this year so the blog does look somewhat like an obvious attempt to engage with voters now that he needs their votes. Could there be a move among local tories to try and engage local residents via the internet? Could Councillor Fletcher's suddenly local focus be a part of that?

Anyway, I'm digressing again.

Bi-Weekly bins...

Well if you've read the above links to 853 and Councillor Fletcher's site you'll see that the Council does appear to be reintroducing weekly collections for black sacks.

Now maybe I'm "lucky" but Floyd Road has had those extra weekly collections for months now. Faced with the choice of actually talking to local residents who were having problems or blowing our Council tax on trying to cover up the flaws with the new system the Council choose the latter path.

The black bins also seem to have been another attempt to deal with the issue of blacks sacks being left on the pavements week after week. And once again it was one that involved spending our money rather than admitting there were problems and tackling them.

And now the Council are going to roll out their sticking plaster solution over the whole of Greenwich.

I think that's a great shame. Bi-Weekly collections could have worked and should have worked but the Council lacked the honesty to admit there was a problem and the fortitude to tackle it.

So the black sack issue should now hopefully fade away, covered up with money that I'm sure could be used for better things than hiding the Council's failings.

That leaves the "contaminated bin" problem where residents put the wrong waste in the wrong bin. Once again in Floyd Road the Council have taken the "spend our money" path instead of the "admit there's a problem and fix it" one and we've had yet another extra weekly collection to deal with it.

Numerous homes now have black bins but the problem remains.

The Council's reaction to the black sack issue appears to suggest that the Council just doesn't want to deal with that problem and they will continue to fund those extra collections in order to pretend that everything's rosy.

However we shall see...


853blog said...

Twice I've left comments on Nigel Fletcher's blog (one making the same point you did, that he should be using it to tell us what goes on in the council chamber and another asking him which Labour schemes he'd cut) - twice he hasn't published them.

There must be something in the water at the town hall.

853blog said...

Ooops - I just scrolled down and he did use one of my comments after all. He's a bit slow on the moderation, our Nige.

Anonymous said...

I thought they scrapped the bi-weekly black bag collection ages ago. On my road in east Greenwich everyone puts them out every week and the binmen take them.