Waste collections could also be reduced
Wheelie bins are set to be introduced across Merton within a couple of years, and waste collections reduced, as the council joins a multi-borough waste scheme.
The South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) covers Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston Councils, and it has picked Veolia as the recommended preferred bidder to handle waste collection and street cleaning services across the four boroughs.
The recommendations would mean the continuation of weekly food waste and recycling collections; paper and card being collected one week and glass, tins and plastics the next. The remaining non-recyclable rubbish would be collected on alternate weeks - a reduction on the current service. The recommendations would also see the introduction of wheelie bins.
A wheelie bin pilot was conducted in 2015 in Lavender Fields ward. Residents there were very satisfied with the improvements they saw in their streets.
The current proposals go to pre-decision scrutiny on June 9 before their review by Cabinet in July. A final contract would be awarded in December, pending agreement from the four boroughs.
In addition, The Landscape Group (TLG) has emerged as the recommended preferred bidder for delivering services in Merton’s parks and greenspaces, including cemeteries. The total savings are set to come to over £2m each year across the two contracts, as part of a wider savings package across the four south London boroughs.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “The council’s top priorities are keeping the streets clean and council tax low. When we piloted wheeled bins people liked them and we’ve been looking for an affordable way to introduce them. I’m pleased that the preferred solution features wheeled bins.
“The proposed solution would mean a better, cleaner service for less money, helping us keep council tax low and protect services for the vulnerable. As a business-like council, we don’t want to miss out on considering this opportunity.”
Merton Park Independent Councillor John Sargeant sits on the scrutiny panel and he said: “When wheelie bins were previously proposed in 2011 Merton Park residents were strongly opposed to them. They would have been a more expensive approach to waste collections. The Lavender Fields pilot did not reflect some of the housing and logistics challenges faced in other parts of the borough.
“True to the principles of the MPWRA, we should treat these new proposals on their merits and determine what is in our residents' interests. But with just a week before the scrutiny meeting there's a lot of homework to do once I get to see the details.”
They will no doubt be discussed at the next MPWRA meeting, which takes place on Tuesday (June 7) at 8.00pm at Merton Park Primary School in Erridge Road.
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June 1 , 2016