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Rubbish! by Lynne Featherstone

I came home the other day and my daughter said ‘a woman called to explain about the change in bins.’ (I live in Highgate).

I asked my daughter what the woman had said. Here is the gist of it:

From March, Haringey are changing our normal rubbish collections to once every two weeks. (As I am sure local people already know this only too well – this is a huge issue in Muswell Hill and Highgate. In our Liberal Democrat survey – there was a massive majority against the proposals – but Haringey Labour Council are not consulting and risking an answer that they don’t want).

Haringey will also be taking away our green recycle boxes, and replacing them with a 240 litre bin instead. This means that most households will end up with two large bins in their front garden. When we have asked if residents will get the option to ask for a smaller recycling bin instead, the answer from the Council has been very unclear, so the jury’s still out on that one, even though we are approaching March very rapidly!

‘Any questions?’ the woman asked. My daughter said she was surprised that the Council hadn’t consulted on such a big issue. The woman said we were consulted – there was a questionnaire in a magazine.

Well – that’s not a consultation in my book. It’s great that they can afford to get someone round to explain what will happen – but that is just a bit of public relations following a fait accomplis. Whilst Liberal Democrats are 100% committed to recycling – a change on this scale without consultation is completely unacceptable.

The Council did not consult local people on this fundamental change to the way in which rubbish will be collected in the borough. Last week senior officers addressing the Muswell Hill Area Forum admitted that residents were not asked during a borough-wide consultation on the Council’s waste contract whether they wanted the Council to move to fortnightly non-recyclable waste collections.

To add insult to injury – Haringey has made no sign of wanting to take up the Coalition Government’s offer to fund continued weekly collections. So all of this could have been avoided, with the Government covering the added cost!

It is not the end of the world – but it sure lays to rest the lie of Haringey being a listening Council, and shows with chilling clarity exactly the level of importance Haringey attaches to local peoples’ wants and needs.

lynne@lynnefeatherstone.org or call the office on 020 8340 5459.

Lynne Featherstone

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green.

1 Comment on Rubbish! by Lynne Featherstone

  1. Avatar Jacob Cohen // 21 February, 2012 at 22:36 //

    Whilst i do understand the problem of the council not consulting its constituents on this topic and saying they had. Overall i do not believe that a consultation was necessary on the part of the council. As what you call a “fundamental change” is really just a logical step forward. I cannot see any reason to be opposed to fortnightly collections when you take the full picture into account. If you actually read the new guidelines you’ll realise that recycling wil still be collected every week. Considering the fact that what can be recycled has been increased along with this desicion, anything that can go off and pose a public health issue will now be in organic waste and so will still be collected every week. the only thing that will be collected fortnightly are a few types of plastics. On the whole not at all likely to pose a health risk. As well as this your comment about it not costing the council any extra to perform weekly collections fails to account for the fact that by taking trucks off the road we greatly reduce our carbon footprint, oner of the main aims of recycling in the first place. The only way this could form a health risk is if people don’t seperate their rubbish properly, something we should be discouraging at any rate. Overall i don’t see any reason the changes should be opposed but i will be happy for you to enlighten me at sjcohen@blueyonder.co.uk.

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Lynne Featherstone
About Lynne Featherstone (45 Articles)
Lib Dem MP for Hornsey & Wood Green Minister at the Department for International Development