Letter To The Editor: Garth Road Recycling Centre

"An accident waiting to happen"...

Dear Editor

The height and design of the new steps at Merton’s recycling centre really are an accident waiting to happen.

At last month’s Council meeting, I asked the Cabinet Member for Waste Services to tell me how many reported accidents there have been since the introduction of the new arrangements for depositing recycling and landfill into the higher bins at Garth Road.

Since Veolia commenced with the contract on 1st October 2015 there have been 5 accidents reported by staff. Prior to this there was an average of 3 accidents a year from residents slipping on the steps up to the compactors.

The many users of Garth Road will not find this reassuring. I recently visited the recycling centre myself and found I had to negotiate metal stairs with eight steps not only to deposit my garden waste but also all other recycling and landfill. On reaching the platform at the top of the steps it is still necessary to lift these items up another 4 feet to tip them into the bins.

I am fit and healthy and found this new system a challenge. I am sure the challenge is even greater for many residents using this facility.

I am very concerned that there will soon be a serious accident at the centre. And one for which the council could be liable. I therefore urge the Cabinet Member to heed residents’ warnings about the new arrangements and to reconsider as a matter of urgency.

Councillor Brian Lewis-Lavender
Conservative Councillor for West Barnes

October 28, 2016