Complaints continue over Lambeth’s new rubbish and recycling policies


The council hope the new scheme will improve recycling rates and cut costs


By Laura Norman

Controversy over Lambeth Council’s plan to cut landfill and save cash continues to simmer three months after its roll-out.

It was expected that the compulsory introduction of smaller 140 litre bins, which began in November, could deliver savings worth £2m.

But while the council has credited the £950,000 scheme with huge increases in recycling rates, at Streatham’s recent Question Time event, Council Leader Lib Peck faced accusations that the bins were too small and the roll-out badly managed.

Cllr Shirley Cosgrave Con, Clapham Common said the council needed to drastically improve its response times after hundreds of residents were left without bins in the run up to Christmas.

She said: “People have had old bins removed which were not replaced, or were told they would have to wait two months for a new one.”

Residents claim they were given inadequate notice of the changes.

“The consultation took place in 2009 so many people who moved into the borough since were unaware,” agreed Cllr Cosgrave

The Lib Dems said that the ‘botched and heavy-handed approach to force residents to recycle’ may in fact have the opposite effect.’

Cllr Imogen Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, has apologised to those left without a bin near to Christmas but insisted the roll-out was 98% successful.          

The council state that the amount of rubbish just thrown away has been cut by more than 25% – equal to 8,500 tonnes of food in one year.

In Lambeth around 12,000 tonnes of food waste is thrown away every year, costing £1.75million a year to dispose of.

 Photo courtesy of drewleavy, with thanks.

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