Controversy over Merton’s new waste collection scheme shows no sign of disappearing


The plans to introduce time bands have caused confusion and compaints


The scheme, announced last week, plans to introduce time bands in Wimbledon for how long residential and commercial waste can be left out for collection, with those not adhering to the rules being issued a fixed penalty notice. 

Merton Council says the plans are necessary in order to improve the cleanliness and overall street environment in the borough.

Both businesses and residents reacted angrily to the scheme, which stated that they can only leave their waste sacks on the public highway between 5am to 6am and 5pm to 6pm. Further rules say that waste can be placed on the footway immediately against premises, and that it must be contained in an authorised sack.

Opposition councillors also criticised the scheme, branded #bingate on Twitter, with Merton Conservatives claiming the plans are simply another way for Merton Labour to make money.

Conservative Environment Spokesman Councillor Richard Hilton said: “We all want clean streets but as usual the Labour Council has acted in haste and hasn’t considered the impact on residents.

“If they’d bothered to ask us in advance, we would have pointed out these problems. Forcing residents and businesses to put bins out in just two one-hour long slots will clearly disrupt lives.

“For that reason alone this is a daft idea; combine it with the plans to fine people who disobey this ridiculous rule and it becomes a shockingly vindictive one too.”

Merton Lib Dems blamed the wording of the Council’s announcement rather than the scheme itself.

In a statement on the Lib Dem website, they say that the scheme only applies to people with no outside space to store their waste – as most people are already prohibited from leaving their waste on the pavement at any time.

Merton Council’s website has since been updated to make clear that these arrangements do not apply if your waste is collected from inside the boundary of your property – and therefore will not affect everyone.

Anyone who wants to discuss this issue can visit the Council road show at Wimbledon Piazza (outside Morrisons) on Tuesday February 5, between 7.30am and 11am.

Picture courtesy of Harry Wood, with thanks.

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