"Waste collections cannot necessarily be a one size fits all approach"
Weekly waste collections will be retained in Merton's communal establishments - which include flats - when a controversial new multi-borough scheme is introduced.
Veolia, which has been picked to handle waste collection and street cleaning across Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston, made the pledge in its submission to win the contract.
The changes being made across Merton are controversial because they will result in the introduction of wheelie bins and a general reduction in the frequency of waste collections.
While food waste and recycling collections from houses will continue on a weekly basis, paper and card will be collected from them on one week and glass, tins and plastics the next week. The remaining non-recyclable rubbish would be collected on alternate weeks - a reduction on the current service.
But for communal properties, Veolia will undertake a "waste capacity audit" with collections continuing on a minimum weekly basis. Around 16% of Merton's 84,757 households are made up of flats.
This pledge is revealed in Veolia's submission to win the contract, which states: “Veolia will undertake a waste capacity audit for all communal properties during the mobilisation period in which container provision will be reviewed and amended to allow an equivalent capacity for each household utilising the communal storage area to that of kerbside collection properties.
"Veolia will ensure that sufficient capacity is provided and a collection schedule is established to meet the requirements of delivering this capacity. Communal collections will be undertaken weekly as a minimum with additional frequency collection frequency determined as part of the audit process. We will also consult with the crews that currently undertake these services to ensure their local knowledge is incorporated as part of the scheduling process.”
Councillor Ross Garrod, Cabinet Member for Street Cleanliness and Parking, also said that where there were specific issues relating to maisonettes or properties with no or restricted storage areas, each will be reviewed with the contractor to agree a satisfactory solution.
He added: "It is recognised that the approach to waste collection cannot necessarily be a “one size fits all” approach and that different container types and sizes will need to be appropriate for the property type.
"However, in order for collection processes to be as lean and efficient as possible, standardisation will be required and any variation from the standard process would require justifiable reasons. Acceptable criteria to vary from the “norm” should be agreed in advance of any service being rolled out."
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September 22, 2016