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Ealing and Northfield

What is normal?

Council leader Julian Bell says that our rubbish and re-cycling service “is now almost back to normal”. He is kidding himself I fear.

We are now into the fourth week of the new service, it started on 1st April. It seems that the initial, obvious, bags-in-the-street failure of the service has been partially overcome. There were 1,061 complaints of missed collections on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd April.

One of the techniques used by the contractor Enterprise to overcome the initial crisis was to abandon kerbside re-cycling for many residents. As we know from this video the council is using two compartment lorries to collect food waste separately from other dry recyclables that are then all crushed together and sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The latest news is that this facility is in Kent – so much for saving the planet then.

The MRF process which takes residents’ carefully sorted rubbish and then mixes it all up and crushes it vastly reduces the value of the waste stream and causes a much higher proportion to be sent to landfill. Apart from the obvious waste it will be hard to convince residents to spend time sorting re-cycling and providing space in their homes when they see it all go in the back of a lorry, see here. In even worse news it seems that this “temporary” measure will continue until June when the contractor finally has all of its new vehicles delivered.

Yesterday alone in Northfield we had two residents complaining about this.

Mr M of Bramley Road:

The recycling collection today in Bramley and Airedale Roads W5 resulted in the contents of the Green Boxes (whether or not sorted by material type) and the White Sacks all being thrown into the back of a refuse lorry together. This made it a waste of time to separate, clean and store these materials in dry conditions during the previous week.

Mr M of Ealing Park Gardens

Well it appears that nothing has changed as again today all the plastics, newspaper, cardboard and bottles put out by us and our neighbours are just thrown together into the dustcart! You suggest in the earlier message that this is a temporary thing with a new contractor, but it seems to me that it is more likely that the contractors have decided they can get away with a hopeless service which comes in on price by employing fewer people and hiring fewer vehicles to do the job. Then if you lump everything together (literally!) there’s profit to be made. This is obviously not a real green, eco-friendly service but a contract being done on the cheap.
I will be forwarding this to my local councillors to investigate further.

The other major continuing failure of the new contract is the ineffectiveness of street cleansing – more on this later.

I fear that we are heading towards a new normal which is worse than the old one.

3 replies on “What is normal?”

Not only is the street cleaning ineffective but also completely disorganised:
As I cycled down the southern part of Clitherow Avenue this week I noticed the street cleaners half-heartedly sweeping going Southbound towards, at the bottom of the street, the refuse cart heading Northbound – i.e they were sweaping the street in the opposite direction and therefore before any mess had been made.

Surely there are some contractual clauses to get rid of these clowns. Or can I get a refund on the good money I pay for this “service” ?

As I understand there are financial penalty clauses for failure to meet minimum levels of service which the council can apply – I would also imagine that there are other means to remove the contractor should their level of service remain as it currently is.

Pity we cannot do something about the other clown involved in administering this contract – Roger Jones.

His recent statement is laughable and also suggests residents are halfwits (“….we will be returning to sorting as we collect because this provides higher quality recycling that has more uses”). Really Mr Jones?

Roger Jones, director for Environment and Leisure, said: “We value residents’ commitment to recycling and want to reassure anyone who has been concerned by seeing their carefully sorted recycling being mixed together in a truck, that it is not going to landfill. Some mixed collections are being used to speed up rounds at the moment, but we will be returning to sorting as we collect because this provides higher quality recycling that has more uses.”

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