'Corner Cutting' Blamed for Refuse Collection Problems

Opposition say poor management has led to rubbish strewn streets

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For more information about Wandsworth's waste and recycling services should call 020 8871 8558 or email wasteservices@wandsworth.gov.uk.

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Problems with the new refuse collection system in Wandsworth have been blamed on 'poor Tory management' by Labour opposition in the borough.

Many streets across the borough were left strewn with rubbish and uncollected refuse sacks this week. The opposition are claiming that the is due to cutting corners by Wandsworth Council to save money will end up costing more in the long term.

An unforeseen change in the firm that collects the waste occurred because the Council was forced to hand over the contract to a new company, following the collapse of the second provider in a row. This has led not only to a change in the day of collection, but also means the schedule for street cleaning now no longer ties in with that of waste collection. The Labour party is claiming that the Council then failed to communicate the changes properly to local residents.

Cllr Leonie Cooper said, “Given the Conservative administration’s poor management, it is no surprise that residents have commented on the deterioration in the service received, as corners have seemingly been cut. This approach does not save money in the long run, as now we have seen the second company in a row go into administration. This is leaving Wandsworth residents at a great disadvantage, as uncollected waste, dirty streets and dog fouling are left to build up across the borough.”

It is claimed that Wandsworth has split up the responsibility for street cleaning and waste collection, selling off each contract to an individual provider in an attempt to save money and, unlike in other authorities, this means Wandsworth’s environment is not managed by one overarching body, and the system lacks coordination as a consequence.

The Council disputes that the changes were poorly communicated and said that it was clear the message got through to a 'huge number' of the 300,000 households where refuse and recycling collections are made every week. Notification was given when council tax bills were sent out last month and the changes were advertised in local printed press and in the council's magazine Brightside and online.

A Council spokesperson said, "Although there were some teething problems last week we are confident that these will be quickly ironed out. The new contract means that residents in Putney and Roehampton will benefit from the ending of Saturday morning pick ups, a guarantee of weekly bin collections, the introduction of split compartment vehicles so one lorry can do the job of two and a saving to council tax payers of £1m a year. "

People can check their new collection days by visiting www.wandsworth.gov.uk/refusecollection and keying in the name of their street.

April 11, 2012