In recent weeks there have been several reports of rubbish pile-ups across the capital caused by staff shortages due to the ‘pingdemic’.
However, in Lewisham, South East London, bin collection has taken centre stage for a different reason.
Lewisham Council has drafted a new waste management strategy with various proposals for the next 10 years to help improve the environment.
READ MORE:Lorry driver who ploughed into parked cars and lamppost in Southwark was ‘twice over drink limit.’
As a result, residents have been encouraged to fill in a survey after reading the plan, but one question has caused some concern.
People were asked whether they agreed with the following statement: “Collect general waste less often (every 3 weeks) whilst collecting food waste and recycling each week as normal”.
Many residents took to Facebook to voice their concerns at the prospect of extending bin collections from every two weeks to three.
One person said: “We share two black bins with FIVE households.”
Another added: “Will you lower the council tax costs accordingly?”
A third responded: “Definitely more info on what plastics can and can’t be recycled.
“We could do with a bigger veg bin. But definitely NO reduction in general waste collection.”
A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “The draft waste strategy is ambitious and is aimed at enabling a more sustainable borough, contributing to the Council priorities.
“The Council is currently seeking to gauge views from our residents and there has been no decision to change the frequency of bin collections. All feedback will be considered before any recommendations are made.
“We are keen to hear from residents, businesses and visitors to the borough.”
Despite some negativity regarding that one particular question on the survey, the strategy highlights some of Lewisham Council’s great work in the last ten years to reduce waste in the area.
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For instance, residual household waste is down 27 per cent per household in Lewisham over the last 10 years, and collected waste is down 24 per cent over the same period.
In 2019 Lewisham unveiled a £1.4 million ‘recycling and reduction’ plan as part of efforts to meet the mayor’s 50 per cent recycling target by 2025.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting on 11 December 2019, the Executive Director for Housing, Regeneration and the Environment said: “It is generally accepted that recycling is more difficult for residents in flats; there is a high proportion of flats in the borough.
“Further, it is expected that development within the borough over the coming years will include a large number of flats.
“Those factors mean that achieving recycling levels comparable with outer London boroughs, which tend to have a lower proportion of flats, will be challenging”.
As a result, the council has made a few proposals, including underground waste systems for flats and a reporting App, so that people can report concerns and receive feedback.