Ealing and Northfield

Press 1 for missed collections: The council still hasn’t got missed collections under control

When you dial the council’s help desk you still get an autoresponder that says “Press 1 for a missed collection”. It is now over 14 months into the Enterprise contract and it is still broken and there is still no evidence that it has been sorted out.

Missed collections for two years

Under the old contractor, May Gurney, in 2011/12 just under 12,000 collections were missed, slightly under 1,000 per month.

In the first year of the Enterprise contract until the end of March 2013 over 54,000 collections were missed. This was quite ridiculous. 1,000 missed collections a week rather than 1,000 a month as before. You can see all of the figures laid out on

You might have thought that the council would have sorted this out by now but unfortunately not. In an answer to a written question (number 38) asked by me at the last council meeting it transpires that the council is still missing over 2,600 collections a month.

Missed collections April and May

How long will this nonsense go on for? 2,600 people are still having to phone up every month to tell the council something has gone wrong. That is more than 100 every working day.

3 replies on “Press 1 for missed collections: The council still hasn’t got missed collections under control”

I have to confess, Phil, when the Organic Waste Box collection was missed last week, I did nothing about it. Since the box wasn’t full, and the contents were wrapped in newspaper, I left it until this week when it was emptied. After a while, ‘complaint fatigue’ sets in.

How Mahfouz can maintain our streets are cleaner now than under the previous Council is just beyond me. The standard of collections and cleaning has definitely fallen.

And I now take my own garden refuse to the tip whereas previously I would put it out for the Contractor to collect. Why should I pay an extra £40 for a service that used to be included?


I had the same problem with my food waste bin this week. Since it wasn’t full I would have just done the same – put another sheet of newspaper in and carried on. That’s actually what is so good about having weekly collections for something like food waste. I’ve learnt that it is less hassle to leave it out all day in case someone else has complained or that they have just run out of capacity and will return to finish off the round. Thank goodness we don’t have enormous wheelies to pull out and then back when they aren’t emptied once a fortnight.

However today I see another post from Acton and some flats that have been having trouble with collections for years. They have apparently now had no collection for 10 days. What is happening for the recycling for flats?

If they were separating their waste then they wouldn’t have the same problem with masses of black smelly bags. For a start all those large plastic milk containers that take up so much space (especially when people don’t squash them) and which are part of a valuable closed loop recycling system would not be contributing to the problem. Neither would cardboard which also takes up a lot of space when un-flattened.

People need to be helped to manage to REDUCE their waste. Just collecting it is not the best answer for the residents – although it might be for a contractor who just wants a big and lucrative contract.


Guess what – my food waste bin collection this week has been sabotaged. I wondered why it was the only one uncollected. When I opened it I noticed that there was plastic film packaging from magazines in it – not ours. This week the food waste was all I put out for collection.

So why was it just left? Where was my sticker saying that it had items in it that it shouldn’t?

When are we going to get a website that helps residents to organise and reduce their waste? What happened to information about Recycling Week? Never mind – since nothing much happened about that – how about the Council doing more about Zero Waste Week which has yet to come this year?

What – not interested? I wonder why?


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