Thursday 3 August 2017

Brent Council introduces £35 charge for bulky waste collections & gives tips on how to avoid the charge

From the Brent Council website

Residents are being called upon to offer their old white goods and furniture to charities and others through online web communities in a bid to help those in need - and avoid the cost of a collection of bulky items.

From September, collection charges in Brent for large items such as sofas, beds and washing machines will be brought into line with those of neighbouring boroughs and Brent Council is keen for its residents to avoid paying out unnecessarily for a collection.

“It doesn’t make any sense to pay someone to get rid of something, that someone else in your local community would gladly take off you for nothing,” Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said.

“Online web communities such as Freecycle and Freegle and several auctioneering sites are becoming more and more popular and they are a great way to link up people in need of certain items that can’t afford to buy new, with those who need to get rid.

“We have heard how people have used these sites to get rid of everything from an old piano, drawers, wardrobes, beds, electronic equipment, baby buggies through to empty paint pots, so it’s true that one person’s junk is another’s treasure.

“Charity shops too are interested in what you might be off-loading and many offer a collection service for furniture, so it may be worth a call to them in the first instance to see if you can support a worthy cause.

“Of course, it may be the case that your item can’t be used by the charities and Freecycle users, so if you are unable to take it to the Abbey Road recycling centre yourself, you may wish to order a special collection.”

Bulky waste collections with private companies start at around £50 and increase in price depending on the weight of the items collected, however Brent Council offers up to five bulky items collected at price of £35.

Neighbouring Harrow also charges £35 but for four items, Ealing charges £40 for eight items, Barnet charges £45 for one electrical item and Hounslow charges £50 for five items. Only Camden is cheaper than Brent, with up to five items collected for £25.

Cuts to local council budgets have led Brent and other local authorities to find new ways to cover the cost of providing a bulky waste collection service, however exceptions will be made for the most hard-pressed residents as eligible benefit claimants will not be charged for a one-off collection.

Cllr Southwood added:

“Like anything in life it would be great if the service was free for everyone, but year-on-year cuts to our budget from central government mean that’s just not a possibility.

“The good news though is that if you can’t donate, sell or give away your items, then at £35 this is a really competitively priced service which helps keep it sustainable and offers Brent residents great value for money.”

Give it away and save


Most charity shops love to take things off you that you no longer need. If you have trouble finding a shop willing to take a large item, try the British Heart Foundation's free furniture and electrical collection service.

Online sites and web communities

  • Freecycle – the original platform for helping match up those in need of certain items, with those who want rid.
  • Freegle – Around 17,000 people in Brent are using Freegle to give away and make use of items that are no longer needed by some people.
  • Gumtree – Online classified adverts to pass on your no longer needed items.
  • Facebook – Now featuring local buy and sell groups to sell or giveaway items with no fees.
  • eBay – Buy and sell items on the well-known online auctioning site.
  • Preloved - The popular classified site features a Freeloved section, letting you pick up things for free. While it's free to advertise your wares, users pay £5/year to get first dibs on the latest freebies.
  • SnaffleUp - While still relatively small, SnaffleUp's modern design means it's easy to browse for freebies.
  • Re-cycle - A charity that isn’t able to collect unwanted bicycles, but can take them off you at several drop off points for them to be reused in developing countries in Africa.
Know of any others? Let us know and we’ll update this web page.

Save money

If your bulky item can’t be re-used and you need a special collection, then why not ask if your neighbours if they have anything to get rid of at the same time, so that you can split the cost of collecting the five items with them?


Anonymous said...

This is nuts and surely will encourage more fly-tipping. Charities will take good stuff but one of the reasons people get rid of white goods, old sofas and mattresses is because they do not work or are well past their sell-by date (like me!)

Anonymous said...

Well, well, this will only exacerbate the problem of fly tipping which has already reached epidemic proportions across Brent. To prove the point I post photographs of dumped goods over the Cleaner Brent app on most days of the week here in the Northwick Park Ward. Items dumped would generally not be accepted by charities; we have tried with our own unwanted items which have been in working order. Electrical goods are treated with caution as they require electrical certification before being issued to anyone else. Discarded furniture is frequently refused because the items are made from materials that aren't fire rated to current standards. So the advice from Brent is to hand the unwanted items to charities who can then issue them to those in need living in Brent's high rise blocks, adding to the other fire hazards. Wonderful. As usual, Brent Council has come up with a range of ill conceived ideas to soften the blow of another hike in prices. An alternative suggestion: provide a free collection service employing people and pay for the service by using the savings made by not having to remove all of the fly tipped rubbish which appears every day of the week. Then let Brent Council donate the goods themselves to charity, as they think it is so easy to do.
Has Brent Council also considered that there may well be many residents who are unable to access on line sites to arrange removal of items. Some will not have the knowledge or have used computers before. Last but not least, it appears to assume that residents have cars capable of carrying large white goods, three piece suites, kitchen cabinets, etc, the items commonly dumped in alleyways, and at the side of roads overnight. Would it be possible for Brent Council to think their plans through before creating rubbish of a written kind?

Anonymous said...

' “It doesn’t make any sense to pay to get rid of something, that someone else would gladly take off you for nothing,” Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said.'

This is a bit long-winded, Councillor Southwood. Can't we just call it The Cara Davani Principle?

Mike Hine

Anonymous said...

Re. The Cara Davani Principle - Mo Butt told some of his councillors at the time that payment was the only way to get rid of her.

What they knew, but are still too scared to say publicly, is that she could have been taken off Brent's hands for nothing nine months earlier, if Mo hadn't protected her. Why would he do that?

Martin Francis said...

Meanwhile here is one of the latest reviews of the Satis Hotel, Yoxford run by Cara Davani and Andy Potts:

Paid £185 for room only plus £30 for breakfast - one night in Aldeburgh room. At that kind of money you expect the attention to detail to be spot on.

Huge four poster bed

Right on the A12 so very noisy
Small dark corner for reception - no light to see card details, but man in reception had a torch on his phone which he 'uses all the time' to help. Why not just get a lamp?
Whilst he sat, did not offer us to sit down
Hallway stairs carpet dirty
Room is right about reception so you hear all the comings and goings as well as a dog barking for a lot of the time
Room decor tired
Full minibar but bottle of water cost £2.20!!! At these prices water should be complementary
Not enough milk for coffee/tea - we had to buy a pint
Room stuffy - had to keep window opened all night - could have done with opening both, but one on right was stuck shut
Furnishings looked shabby with some chips to the dressing table
Windows dirty
Windowsills had dead flies, spiders etc that had clearly been there for weeks
Cobwebs in all corners with some active spiders
Bathroom door didn't shut or lock
Shower was a dribble, really - again with a cobweb and spider
Washbasin set too far back to run the tap in the middle of the settings to get warm and tap loose
TV on wall but jutting into room - cables just hanging and very dusty and when turned on had a poor picture quality
Bathroom floor wonky and decor tired, bathroom door lead into hallway as well as bedroom
Breakfast - self serve coffee/ tea set up on table with hanging tablecloth, soaked from spills and with no glasses for orange juice
Tea urn ran out of water, and wasn't on a high enough level to get teapot under
No milk, had to ask - what's with the milk??
Full English breakfast ok but toast extra and sausage tasted odd so left it
Ran out of salmon for scrambled eggs and salmon
Older lady and girl serving looked glum and whilst still serving breakfast saw the younger one with dirty linen clutched to her chest from a bedroom
Lastly, card had been charged by the time we checked out - but unclear whether this was the one used on expedia or the details taken in the dark hallway, and surely you charge with the owners consent?

Really sad, room was for a special occasion and frankly put a bad feeling over the whole weekend. My partner advised the female owner to try the experience herself to review the service to which she replied 'we have been here a year and are slowly doing things'
Show less
Room Tip: Don't come here

Anonymous said...

Breakfast £30 but 'toast extra'! What was it, a trio of hand-crafted artisanal farinary items personally curated by Ms Davani herself?
What kind of mean little skinflint comes up with ideas like that?

Time for a visit from Alex Polizzi perhaps.

Mike Hine

Alison Hopkins said...

Blimey, those reviews are dire. As are Davani's replies. And HOW much? I know a fabulous hotel on Dartmoor with the equivalent of three Michelin star food for the same money.

An unimpressed Wembley resident said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Ms D doesn't improve does she. But I still don't see why both she and Andy Potts were given nice sums of our money to go. Butt will have to finally come up with a satisfactory explanation and the truth over this matter. We won't let him get away with what he has come up with so far. Also he still hasn't explained how the interim Chief Executive came to be in post... somebody must have been responsible for approaching her, agreeing to her terms and conditions etc.Who was it Mr Butt? Cough up the truth as to how a whole range of things came to happen.

Anonymous said...

Preaching to the converted, but can you go to West London recycling and deposit you old furniture and household waste in a VAN, no you can't, even when you take your council tax bill to prove you are a local resident they want to charge you excessive amounts, believe I have tried. This is complete rubbish!

Philip Grant said...

Dear unimpressed Wembley resident,

The payment of £157,610 to Cara Davani is something which five local electors objected to over Brent's 2015/16 accounts, twelve months ago. I am one of those objectors, and I also objected to the "voluntary redundancy and severance" payment made to her partner, Andy Potts, when he left the Council at the same time (June 2015, a coincidence?).

The auditor investigating our objections has just (finally! - see several guest blogs about the case over the past year) come back with his "provisional views". He has asked the objectors to let him have any further comments or evidence, by the end of the month, but we are now in a dispute with him over documents.

We had been told on a number of occasions (going back to December 2016) that the auditor would share with the objectors 'documents which he considered to be material to his decision'.

That decision is principally about our objection to Brent Council's payment to Cara Davani, but he seems to be taking the view that none of the documents which Brent Council supplied to him about that payment (and have given him their interpretation of) are "material documents" that he needs to share with us.

Does that make sense to you? It certainly doesn't to the objectors, which is why we are disputing it.

... and on your point about the interim Chief Executive, who Cllr. Butt appointed in September 2012, but was still in post in June 2015 to approve the £157k payment to her former colleague (at both Tower Hamlets Council and Ofsted):-

My further comments to the auditor will include evidence that there were serious irregularities (possibly involving "misconduct in public office") which allowed Ms Gilbert's "several months" as interim Chief Executive to become almost three years.

Would the Leader of Brent Council care to add a comment on this?


Philip Grant said...

Summary of this review: Dis-Satis-faction