Row Over Reduction In Household Waste Collection

Tories ask for weekly waste collections to be retained

General waste refuse collections in Merton are set to be cut from weekly to fortnightly following a decision by the Council's Cabinet.

The council has agreed to join a multi-borough waste scheme, which will also see the introduction of wheelie bins.

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 approval of the scheme by the Council's Cabinet on Tuesday is set to mean the continuation of weekly food waste and recycling collections; paper and card being collected one week and glass, tins and plastics the next.

But the remaining non-recyclable rubbish would be collected on alternate weeks - a reduction on the current weekly service. The recommendations would also see the introduction of wheelie bins.

The total savings are expected to come to over £2 million each year for Merton as part of a wider savings package across the four south London boroughs.

Merton's Tories are opposed to the plans and are asking Full Council to vote at its next meeting on Wednesday (July 13) to protect the weekly bin collection.

Their motion reads: "This Council strongly regrets the lack of consultation that has been undertaken with residents across all parts of Merton about changes to their waste collection service and therefore calls on the Cabinet to look at alternatives to address the above concerns and to protect the weekly bin collection, as per Merton Labour’s 2014 manifesto promise."

The Cabinet has also agreed to appoint The Landscape Group (TLG) as the preferred bidder for delivering services across Merton and Sutton’s parks and green spaces, including cemeteries.

Merton Council cabinet member for street cleanliness Councillor Ross Garrod said: “Street cleanliness is important to us and to our residents and as a business-like council we are determined to keep our council tax low and give value for money to our council tax payers.

"Working with our neighbouring boroughs to bring in Veolia and TLG will mean that we can deliver a good service while saving £2 million per year. Our funding from central government is continually decreasing so we need to find ways of saving money while still providing residents with services."

A final contract could be awarded in December, pending agreement from the four boroughs.

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July 8, 2016

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Cabinet Member for Street Cleanliness and Parking, Councillor Ross Garrod (right) and Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis