Ex-Mayor Livingstone

No Waste for London

Boo hoo no WfLTalking of no shit, no WfL either.

The poor old Mayor is out of sorts today after being told by Ben Bradshaw, Labour’s Minister for Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, that he can’t have his grandiose, strategic, pan-London waste authority.

Even a Labour minister has the good sense to know that it will be a total waste of cash:

Even after the initial set up costs, our analysis indicated that it could cost up to £5 million a year more to manage London’s waste through a Single Waste Disposal Authority because of the introduction of an extra tier of management.

You can read Bradshaw’s letter here.

As I have blogged before the Mayor’s now busted strategy talked of a fifth functional body. Imagine Waste for London in addition to Transport for London. We have saved WfL’s £78 million comms budget and the 821 people who earn more than £50K per year. At least that is what they would have been if WfL was anything like TfL.

6 replies on “No Waste for London”

Well Phil,
Why are there so many Christmas trees lying around in South Ealing? The ECT collections breezes past them. What happens to them? I found out today: an ECT “cage” truck pulled up in Ranelagh Road to inspect a black plastic bag–this involved three men and a pair of tongs of the sort used by elderly people for picking things up. When it was pointed out to them that there was a Christmas tree dumped on the other side of the road they laughed and said that would be collected later! So let’s get this right, you send round the compacter trucks to pick up black bags. Then you send round a caged truck to inspect the left-over refuse, then you send around another truck to pick up Christmas Trees…for a borough trying to be eco conscious this does not make sense…three trucks, three trips, three times the fuel, three times the people, even three times the cost….Am I missing something!!!!


Nice to hear from you Honey.

It is not my job to justify everything the council does. But, I do think you might be missing something. Christmas trees can be composted to avoid land-fill. If they are collected separately then they don’t have to be sorted. The compactor does a specific job – picks up your rubbish. If a tree goes into one of these then it will go to land-fill. The caged vehicle is doing a specific job – tackling fly tips. It is important to get to the bottom of fly-tipping which you won’t do if you just scoop it up and chuck it in a compactor. If you investigate fly-tips you can work out who is causing the problem and confront them. It is easy to ridicule the council staff when they try to protect themselves with gloves and picking sticks but you don’t have to deal with rubbish for a living so maybe give them a break!

The way forward to getting our streets cleaner lies partly in a better service from the council but we need to confront the people who think it is OK to chuck their Christmas trees in the street. Have a go at the right people Honey.



The issue of “green” is more than just segregating Christmas trees to compost them: what is the trade-off between the fuel and depreciation of vehicles (with intrinsic energy impact in the manufacture of more vehicles, etc.) versus one trip round the borough to collect it all at once. I’m sure that our refuse operatives are capable of separating Christmas Trees from other fly tipped rubbish back at base (or won’t Unison allow that!), or couldn’t the recycling trucks pick up the Christmas Tress for recycling? Do you make separate trips to the supermarket to buy green products, non-green products, and other things, or do you buy them all at once and then sort them at home. Sounds to me like you need a housewife running your rubbish collection! Or perhaps some guidance from the Mayor of London via a strategic authority for waste who can surmount Unison, etc and point out these obvous things?


Comparing supermarket shopping to collecting Christmas trees over a whole borough is pretty ridiculous. I’m glad you’re not my housewife.



Merely a practical example of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), that is the transfer of ideas that work across to situations that don’t!


Well Phil, SOMEONE seems to be reading your blog; the Christmas Tree dumped opposite my brother-in-laws went this morning–however, the cardboard boxes that were dumped alongside the tree subsequently are still there! Don’t tell me…cardboard boxes that haven’t been squashed flat according to the best-practice guidelines (as laid down by Gogol) are collected by a separate type of truck on a separate round Ealing tour when the moon is in the third quarter….


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