The Independent London Newspaper
25th March 2019

Your liberty is about to be curtailed – no one voted for this change to rubbish collection

    Published: 12 January, 2016

    • CAMDEN residents need to be aware that the most fundamental change in their relationship with the local authority is about to take place. 

    Everyone is going to face the prospect of being fined for not complying with a policy, about to be introduced, by this council, for which it has no mandate.

    Most of us have a pretty benign relationship with Camden Council. We pay our taxes and, at the very minimum, in return our rubbish is collected. Based on where one is in one’s life cycle, a whole number of other council services may also be enjoyed, but the one thing we all have in common is, that our rubbish is collected. Beyond this, most working citizens of Camden have little reason to come into contact with the local government or its functionaries. That is about to change.

    The Labour politicians running Camden are about to reduce the number of times our rubbish will be collected. We will be expected to store it in our homes for longer than now, in between the new collection days. We will only be allowed to put out certain types of rubbish, on certain days, in certain bags. Get the day, the type of waste, or the bag wrong and we will be fined.

    Instead of being a provider of services, if the changes are implemented, the council will become a new policing presence in our lives, ever hovering, and ever threatening to wield its power and huge resources against us for merely daring to continue to dispose of our rubbish the way we currently do.  

    Nobody had the chance to vote for or against this change. Nobody even asked us whether we wanted this change; but all of this appears to be going through on a mere nod, under the guise of wanting to increase recycling.

    Get in touch with your local Labour councillor to protest most forcefully. This is about so much more than rubbish collection? This is most fundamentally about our relationship with the state, its interference in our lives and about the extent of power it wields against us.

    Wake up! Your liberty about to be curtailed! 

    You are about to agree to being policed by the council and prosecuted at its whim, while innocently thinking you are just agreeing to a simple change in rubbish collection days.




    rubbish for flats in Converted Houses....

    Dear Anonymous,

    The issue is that there is nowhere to store this additional rubbish as most of the areas now being put on fortnightly collections are flats/converted houses filled with renters who don't care about maintaining the bins they share with their neighbours. There already isn't enough space for bins and they are already overflowing with fly-tipping being a very big problem in West Hampstead/South Hampstead.

    For example, I live in a house converted into 6 flats where the bins are "squeezed "down an alley way as there is no other area to store them. The bins are always overflowing (the residents don't use food caddy's and I also suspect fly tippers as I have caught passers by using our bins). Many of the residents are tenants who don't care about recycling and I can't force them to care or comply. With this new introduction the bin situation will be even more out of control and I am very concerned. If my neighbours fail to adhere/recycle properly then MY bins won't be taken away - note that I had a phone call with Camden council where one of their representatives explicitly said it was in my interest to talk to my neighbours because if they fail to comply then I will suffer the consequences. That is not a joke. That happened.

    We weren't consulted, and it seems no thought has been given to who this should apply to. It is NOT feasible for certain flats.

    I suspect you are probably one of the lucky few who doesn't live in flat with shared bins and you aren't dependant on your neighbours behaving reasonably. Please consider others when jumping on the band wagon and supporting this.

    Where is the reference to fines?

    I've researched this new fortnightly system, and nowhere can I see, it says anything about Fines. Your comment Keith, is without any references too.

    You are not expected to "store it in your home" but in a brand new, council supplied bin.

    You will be expected to put out your rubbish prior to collection - why would you want to put it out on the street when it is not being collected - a stupid suggestion in my opinion.

    Maybe you're just not recycling enough Keith, because I rarely fill more than 1 black sack of non recycling rubbish in a fortnight.

    Fortnightly rubbish collections in Camden

    I agree we need more information about the points mentioned by Keith.

    Not long ago Camden used to collect rubbish twice a week. In theory, the idea of saving money by halving the number of rubbish collections is a good idea, but in reality it's impractical in a place like Camden. Fortnightly rubbish collections are only really an option in rural and suburban areas, where households have outside storage space.

    Where do residents store these brand new (presumably large) council supplied bins? This is Camden, where many dwellings are flats without gardens.

    I think the comment about having to put your rubbish our prior to collection is not in the slightest bit "stupid". In fact I'm pleased that this has been brought to my attention as I had no idea.

    I assume residents will only have a small window to put rubbish out before a particular time, on a certain day, every fortnight. This means if you are unable to put your bin out (maybe you're on holiday, visiting family, away on business or just forget) then you're going to have your rubbish sitting in your bin for a month. Miss it a second time and you'll have six weeks old rubbish rotting away. Imagine what that will be like in summer!

    I guess now the elderly and disabled will be expected to take big wheelie bins in and out themselves? Will they now also have to do the same with recycling bins too? Is this yet another a change Camden Council has slipped in without any consultation with residents?

    I'm not sure how this will work where I live as we share bins between flats, so who will take responsibility for putting the bins out (and back in again)? If they are put out on the wrong day, who will the council fine? I guess they would rummage through the waste to identify which flat it came from but it's not my fault if my neighbour puts a shared bin out on the wrong day. I can see this new system is going to cause nothing but problems.

    I think you must be pretty unique to only produce 26 bags of waste per annum but well done you for having such little rubbish. Sadly there are still a lot of items that aren't recyclable. The recycling bins and rubbish bins in my building are all full halfway through the week as it is, and there is no space to store more bins (hence why they are full half way though the week).

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