Issues emerge with new rubbish collection scheme

Merton’s new rubbish collection scheme has been in place since 1st October, and we have been made aware of a number of issues. Recurring problems include wheelie bins not being returned to properties after rubbish collection, and collections being missed. 

Cllr Paul Kohler has been in touch with council officers regarding bins being left in the pavements / roads after collection, and it has been confirmed that instructions given to Veolia staff are to replace bins on properties after collection. If your bins are not replaced on your property after collection please let your local ward councillors know so they can raise it with the relevant team at the council, who will handle the complaint. 

If your rubbish isn’t collected you can report it on the Merton Council website, and a team will come out to collect it provided the rubbish was `presented'. Some residents are having issues with rubbish not being collected as it wasn’t presented properly - information on how rubbish should be presented can be found here. If moving the bins each week is difficult for you, you can apply for assisted collection

Wheelie bins - FAQs

The new scheme of wheelie bins and fortnightly collections begins on 1 October.

There is some flexibility in the system if wheelies don't work for you.

So: please call the Council on 020 8274 4902 if

  1. You will struggle to store the bins in your front garden (or if you don’t have one!) - the Council will reassess your property [although still trying to get them to confirm the size of garden they think is needed].

  2. Moving the bins each week would be difficult for you. You can apply for an assisted collection. You can also do this online here.

  3. You are in a household of five or more, or have a medical condition, to request a larger bin.

  4. You want to share some bins with a neighbour.

Lastly, it's really annoying/not possible for lots of people to wait in a phone queue - your councillors can contact the relevant Council department for you (without needing to call). Find your councillor here.

If you haven't any wheelie bins, but they've been delivered to your neighbours, you can report a missing, lost or stolen bin online. Please use your current method of collection until your new wheelie bins arrive.

AND - your old bins can be collected by the Council for recycling using the bulky waste collection service, *apparently*.

Find your NEW COLLECTION DAY here.

The leader of the Council said on 18 September, that they are considering a borough-wide collection of old bins for recycling, we should know in a few months.


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Labour block investigation into waste collection and street cleaning

2018_Merton_litter_pick.jpgLabour council bosses have blocked investigation into why the street cleaning and bin collection contract is failing.

Lib Dem councillors had proposed a new task group that would focus on: improving Veolia’s performance, training Council employees for the task, and the costs and legal process to maintain weekly bin collections. 

Cllr Anthony Fairclough, Leader of Merton’s Lib Dem councillors said:

“You just have to look down any road in the borough to see missed rubbish and recycling collections, ignored flytips, litter and mess. This seems likely to get worse with the switch to wheelie bins and collecting rubbish fortnightly.

“It’s extraordinary that Labour councillors blocked a new way of looking at these problems in detail and making some recommendations”.

Cllr Fairclough added: 

“It’s also a bit odd that Conservative councillors wouldn’t back our suggestion of looking at ways to restore weekly bin collections and the costs of that. We also wanted a close look at the training and effectiveness of council staff in managing Council contracts, and the problems caused for residents by the roll-out of wheelie bins. Labour blocked these suggestions and the Conservatives refused to support them”.

Weekly performance monitoring: Veolia

Following a formal request from Cllr Anthony Fairclough in August 2018, Merton Council allowed the publication of the "Veolia performance dashboards" from 3 September, a set of weekly statistics that show the performance of Merton's waste collection and street cleaning contractor.

We have been asked to make the following information clear:

"This weekly information is a snapshot of customer reports and inspections and may differ from Monthly performance reports and contractual Service Performance Indicators which are reported on elsewhere. The purpose of this report is to provide a more frequent ‘barometer’ of performance and perceptions."

Weekly performance statistics

We need transparency on "rubbish figures"

Liberal Democrats in Merton have condemned secrecy over waste contractor’s performance.

Deputy leader of Merton Lib Dem councillors, Cllr Carl Quilliam has hit out at the decision not to publish figures on the weekly performance of the Council’s waste contractor, Veolia, on collecting refuse and cleaning our streets.

Cllr Quilliam said:

“We can all see what a poor job Veolia are doing in keeping our streets clean and collecting rubbish and recycling. The Council’s own figures show exactly how bad their performance is.  

“But for some reason councillors aren’t allowed to share these figures with residents. Perhaps Labour are worried it makes them look like they’re failing to hold Veolia to account?

“We have written to Labour Council bosses and the Council’s Chief Executive asking them to make the figures public – and importantly to reveal how much money they’ve managed to claw back from Veolia because of poor performance. If that doesn’t happen soon, we will take this to the next full Council meeting”.

New bin collection days

Merton Council's contractor Veolia began delivering new wheelie bins to residents from 30th July.

Residents should not use the new bins until the new collection service begins on 1st October.

The new bin collection days from 1st October are shown on the right. 

Residents who do not have room to store the wheelie bins should contact Merton council to discuss alternative arrangements (also on 020 8274 4902). You can read more about the changes here.

You can read more about our thoughts on the plan to explain the move and distribute wheelie bins here.



New wheelie bin scheme introduced 1 Oct

Councillors have had a first look at plans to explain the move to wheelie bins to residents.

By 1st October, every household will have 2 wheelie bins (one for rubbish, one for paper) plus a box for other recycling, and a food waste caddy. And either a wheelie or bag for garden waste if you pay to be in the scheme. Batteries and textiles will also be collected.

At the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel on 21 June, it was confirmed by contractor Veolia that the wheelie bins will be taken one week with recycling boxes the next. Food waste will be collected weekly as will batteries and textiles.

Around 75% of households will also see a change in collection day.

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Action on weekly waste collection

AF__JTC__Oxford_Ave_2018.jpgWhilst Merton’s litter problem is getting worse, residents are concerned about plans to bring in fortnightly waste collection.

The local Lib Dem team have been calling for the Council to commit to maintaining a weekly collection for hygiene waste such as nappies. At the last council meeting, local parent John Tippett Cooper asked them to look into such a scheme, but Labour Council bosses refused. They insisted that there were no issues with things like nappies being collected fortnightly.

After the meeting, John said “The Council’s response on this issue shows how out of touch they are. They need to start listening to residents instead of pushing forward with their plans without proper consultation.”

#MuckyMerton's shock flytipping figures

Everyone knows that Merton Council is failing to keep the streets clean.

Since April, a new company - Veolia - has been responsible for cleaning our streets and collecting our rubbish.

Recent figures obtained by the local Lib Dems have revealed a shocking complacency. 4,792 instances of flytipping were reported to Labour Council bosses between January and September 2017, and yet only 18 fines were issued.

Agreed street cleaning standards are not being met and no one is holding Veolia to account.

Even worse, from late next year, Veolia will be in charge of collecting our recycling one week, and our normal waste the next, with each household forced to take two wheelie bins.

Local campaigner and lawyer John Tippett-Cooper said:

“We don’t like the contract with Veolia: Labour are clearly rubbish on rubbish. But we should use it to force Veolia to improve their service, reduce litter across the borough AND give people flexibility over their rubbish collections.”


Cutting local air pollution vital for children's health

New research confirms that a number schools in Merton are less than 150m away from roads with dangerously high levels of pollution.Campaigning on missing air monitors in 2009
Children’s health could be seriously affected, according to the research by ClientEarth – an environmental charity that successfully brought a legal action against the Government for breaking clean air laws.
Studies have shown that the health of children living within 150m of illegally polluted roads can be affected by traffic-related air pollution.
“The evidence shows that air pollution has links to various health conditions and shorter life expectancy,” said local parent and campaigner Anthony Fairclough.
“Cutting air pollution isn’t just an environmental issue: it’s vital for people’s health. Even more worrying is that this research only looked at schools – I have a toddler – there are numerous nurseries, playschools and playgrounds near these roads too.”

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