Backlash Against Council Introduction of Wheelie Bins

Resident describes them as intrusive and unnecessary

Council is introducing the bins across the borough

A row over new wheelie bins that are too big for some residents’ front gardens appeared to turn a corner this week.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council began its rollout of food waste and wheelie bins to parts of the borough during autumn 2020.

Some households, particularly those with small gardens and narrow walkways, had found the new bins a nuisance.

At a Full Council meeting 20 January, Brackenbury resident Rosemary Mortimer told councillors, “Wheelie bins may be regarded as intrusive and unnecessary in small front gardens.

“Whilst applauding council policy to ‘do things with residents’ and a wish to improve borough recycling, will the administration commit to full consultation with residents before expanding its wheelie bin scheme?”

She continued, “I would have to dig up a large part of my garden and repave it in order to accommodate these new bins, and other residents would have to do the same.

“Will you commit to doing more to nuance this scheme?”

Councillor Wesley Harcourt, cabinet member for the environment, said the new wheelie bins helped keep bin bags safe from foxes which leave rubbish strewn across pavements.

He added that separating recycling had “doubled” recycling rates, and that separate collections for food waste will enable it to be taken for anaerobic digestion treatment, and converted into renewable energy.

But he pledged that households who do not have space for the wheelie bins could be allowed to use their old bins instead.

“Where we have found that front gardens have been so small, we have issued them with smaller bins…

“It may well be that if we choose to expand this we may have to look at some means of smaller bins, because as you say this is an issue that’s come up.

“And under the current prototype scheme, where someone has had a really strong objection to the wheelie bins we have agreed that they shouldn’t have to use them.”

Mr Harcourt also said further consultation with residents will take place before the bins are rolled out to more households.

The first wave of households to get the new bins were in streets around Ravenscourt Park, Scrubs Lane, Charing Cross Hospital and Hurlingham Park.

The standard set of bins distributed last year included:

  • A seven-litre food waste caddy for indoor use
  • A 23-litre food waste container to be placed outside for collection
  • One 140-litre black refuse bin
  • One 240-litre green recycling bin

The council contracts Serco Plc to collect refuse and recycling. The waste is taken to the Western Riverside Waste authority facility in Smugglers Way, Wandsworth.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

January 22, 2021