Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dear Nigel Tyrrell, Director of Environment, Lewisham...

Dear Nigel,

What is going on with your Recycling Team? They have not collected 9 13 of our 11 15 recycling bins on Crossfields Estate SE8 for two weeks.

We asked the Head of Estate Services at Lewisham Homes to find out. He had already been contacted by our caretakers but had not been informed by Recycling themselves.

He told us yesterday that "Lewisham have reported that the delay was apparently due to the bins being contaminated with non-recyclable waste and the volume of other recycling points across the Borough with the same issue". He was assured that the bins would be emptied first thing today. At close of play today, nine thirteen bins remain full to overflowing.

This begs the questions:

1. Why would Recycling promise to empty bins that they have previously refused to empty?
2. If the bins contain foodstuff, why has the issue not been referred to Refuse for collection?
3. Why did Recycling not inform Lewisham Homes (when they share the same depot)?
4. How did 9 13 out of 11 15 bins manage to become contaminated all at the same time?
5. How come people across the borough contaminated their bins all at the same time?

We have requested that Lewisham Homes work with Recycling to re-flyer our estate to remind residents of their responsibilities, with the focus on NOT including food in their recycling materials, rather than what they CAN put in.

However, it looks to us as if 'contamination' has been offered as an excuse for bad management. If Recycling had actually come out and found 9 13 bins contaminated, they should have put a sticker on each one indicating they would be picked up by Refuse. This was not done. It may be no co-incidence that the same thing occurred last year at roughly the same time – does the whole department just go on holiday at this time?

We hope you will able to get to the bottom of the problem as a matter of urgency, as all calls by residents and now other senior managers have met with no success. We know the Council are having to make some severe cuts, but this is one area that should not be allowed to fail.

Update 26 June: Bins were emptied the next day. Lewisham Homes is also now looking at working with the Council to get a leaflet out to residents.

Update 29 July: A leaflet went out to most residents on or around 24/25 July (printed by the Council's Environment team but distributed by Lewisham Homes caretakers), and Lewisham Homes' Head of Estate Services has promised to sort out improved communications between Recycling and Refuse, so that Refuse pick up when Recycling refuse (sorry!) to.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sue

    Just looked up recycling to do with the Estate and found this blog. It's all happening again full Recycling bins have not been emptied for over 2 weeks at Congers and there's a pile of discarded beds and other household debris growing at the east end of the block.

    I'll get some photos later and send them off to Lewisham.