Friday, 12 June 2015

Brent Council's green bin 'grab and smash'

Brent Council has been collecting green bins this month from those households not willing to pay the £40 annual 'garden tax'.

They collected from the close in which I live about 10 days ago and I don't think any household has kept their green bin.

We were told that the green bins would be stored by the Council for re-use and there was some discussion on Streetlife about possible re-use.

Now a Sudbury Court Estate resident writes:
Good afternoon Martin, 
I  thought you would be interested to know about a recent development in connection with the above.  
At home we compost the majority of our garden waste and did not take up Brent's most very generous offer to pay a surcharge for removal of our garden waste. We were advised that redundant bins would be collected during June. 
Today, two vehicles arrived, one to empty any bins containing waste followed by another to take the bins away. The Contractors then proceeded to smash the wheels and the bottoms of perfectly good bins with a hand axe. A pure act of vandalism and a total waste of resources. How environmentally friendly is that? At a time when Brent Council is whinging about Government cuts forcing them to cut services, they are destroying perfectly good equipment which could be used by others. 
I have issued my comments to our local councillor and chairperson of our Residents Association requesting their comments. 
I hope you can investigate this matter in your usual efficient way. 
With very best regards. 

Sudbury Court Estate Resident.
Can anyone shed light on Brent Council's, or is Veolia's, action?


Nan. said...

The bins are prone to cracking after some years as I have noticed with my own and my neighbours' despite light use. We have psid the £40 levy. Would it not have made sense to have replaced damaged bins with those collected back by Brent.

Ah, of course, silly me, yes it would have made sense so that's why they haven't done it!

Nan Tewari, Chair, Bassingham Road Neighbourhood Watch

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's an absolute disgrace what is happening to our green bins. My neighbours in Preston Hill brought it to my attention that they were disturbed by a dreadful noise on the highway and when they looked out the window could see contractors from Brent Council noisily smashing the wheels from the bottoms of perfectly good bins with a hand axe, which as your reader points out is 'a pure act of vandalism and a total waste of resources', which is not only insensitive but is more importantly environmentally unfriendly, especially as they could be put to good use elsewhere (in our needy world). Shame again on Brent Council!

Martin Redston said...

Just typical thoughtless action by Brent Council. However, you will recall that Brent have paid Veolia a quarter of a million pounds (£250,000) of your money to adapt their lorries to the new 'service', so smashing up a few old bins doesn't give them a wink of unbroken sleep. By the way, does anybody know how many people have actually taken up the new service and paid the £40? Do the maths actually stack up? Finally, I am really enjoying my new weekly (blue bin) recycling collection, I can now get rid of all the unwanted cardboard packing again (beyond my composting requirements) which I suddenly wasn't allowed previously to put in the green bin, despite being able to do that in the previous service several years back, Curiouser and Curiouser as Alice said.

Anonymous said...

Garden Waste Update
(Kelly Eaton, Public Realm Policy and Projects Manager)

16,400 households have now signed up to the garden waste service. There are around 100 households signing up for the service every day. A pro-rata system of payment is in place, meaning residents who sign up in June only have to pay £33.34 to receive the garden waste service until April 2016.

The removal of organic bins from households who have chosen not to sign up to the garden waste service is also underway, with around 1,000 organic bins being removed every day. We have noticed that residents are choosing to sign up to the garden waste service once their organic bin has been removed. A number of organic waste bins are being kept in stock to be provided to residents who sign up after their bin has been removed.

There is also a notable increase in the amount of residents visiting the Reuse and Recycling Centre to dispose of their garden waste free of charge.

Martin Francis said...

So (re the maths) at the full £40 charge the Council will get £656,000 income from 16,400 households.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Butt says: "If you want to keep the bin, you can it just won't be emptied without the subscription service", if this is the case why are these bins being collected and destroyed? Is it so when people remember or decide they want a bin that they can charge them for brand new ones?

Anonymous said...

Could the leader of Brent Council explain why he lied and said we could keep our bins if we didn't pay but they wouldn't be collected?

Anonymous said...

I have a reply from Kelly Eaton explaining why the wheels were being hacked off with a hand axe. Apparently it is difficult to stack the bins on the collection vehicle if they have their wheels on. Why then, we're they being thrown into the back of the vehicle minus wheels and not stacked. Also when they originally delivered the bins they already had their wheels fitted, so how did they stack them on the vehicle at that time. She also stated that a surplus of bins were being pelleted for reuse in the production of other plastic items. It seems to be a lot of effort, waste, and cost to achieve £40 worth of additional income for Brent, at the expense of recycling. It also now appears we could have retained our bins in tact for other uses, in any case. It would have been nice to know that. I wish Brent would be consistent for once.

Anonymous said...

Martin - I seem to remember the terms of the deal from last year was that Veolia would pay the Council £400k a year to be allowed to charge £40 pa to Brent residents for collecting their garden waste. Anything they receive over the £400k goes to Veolia.

Philip Grant.

Jaine Lunn said...

As my Green Garden Bin comfortably sits fully loaded (it has not been emptied since before Christmas) awaiting collection, accompanied by its 3 brand new little friends in the shape of Food Caddies, with whom no one wants to give them a home as our kitchens are small and we do not want rotting food hanging around growing bacteria and stinking in the humid climate called the British Summer. ( I do hope they take them away at the same time, otherwise they will be lonely and I would hate for the Council not be able to put them to better use).

I suppose we could fill them and leave them outside for the Foxes, Rats, Pidgeons, and Gulls to play with, after all they do need a never ending supply of food to feed their growing young at this time of year. As they are not lockable it takes little effort for a clever fox to knock over and decorate our pavements and street with yet more Rotting Food, discarded half eaten Take-aways and Rubbish whilst at the same time helping the their not so smart Vermin friends.

I would also like to point out that it was a pointless exercise separating "Green Waste" as I have it on very good authority from someone who works for Veolia, that once it reaches the Alperton Depot it is all mixed together as it is sold by Tonnage to the bio-fuel recycler.

My street has not seen a Street Sweeper for over 2 months, despite being only 10 mtrs from the High Road, only catching a glimpse of anything that resembles a Sweeper in High Viz Veolia Jackets only on Event Days and god forbid they stray from the High Road on to my street.

May I take this opportunity to commend Brent Council and Veolia once again on a job well done, (NOT) you have succeeded in retaining a contractor whose level of service is far from acceptable or anything like what was promised, at the same time increasing the cost to us the Council tax payers. Whom in Brent pay far higher Council Tax charges than the Boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, and Wandsworth whom get a much better service for their £££££s

A Cleaner, Green Brent Award I feel sadly will not be achieved. However, we must be certainly achieve "Bookies Favourite Status" and be in the top spot for Private Eyes "Rotten Borough Award 2015 ....literally. I can only think we are moving backwards.

Alison Hopkins said...

We had someone come round weeding the gutters and pavements the other day. A tad haphazard, but hey, at least they tried.


All of said uprooted weeds are still on the pavement.....!

I'd put them in my green bin but I feel grumpy enough to make a point of not doing. Why not sweep the things up when you uproot them?

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly

Jaine Lunn said...

Thanks Martin it had to be said

Anonymous said...

They are lockable

Alison Hopkins said...

The locks dont' resist determined animals. And, the caddies are so light that they end up blowing along the roads.

I've had several reports of people having their green bins removed despite having paid the forty quid.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the removal of the green bins has created a lot of ill will in the community - so much so it's reinforcing a contemptuous couldn't care less attitude which can be evidenced by increased sightings of green waste dumped in bags on our streets and in our parks...

Anonymous said...

Yes they do they lock