Pilot project criticised for giving residents a dawn start
A new scheme introducing a 'time-banded' waste collection system for Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon town centre is aimed at improving the street scene.
The pilot Merton council scheme, which is supported by Love Wimbledon, will introduce time bands for how long residential and commercial waste can be left out for collection and the time it takes for it to be collected.
It is aimed at reducing the amount of time that waste sacks are left on the street outside local businesses, but there was criticism from people unhappy that residents would have to get up to put their bags outside at dawn. There will be 116 residential flats affected by the plans.
The council said the key features of the scheme are:
· Businesses and residents can only leave their waste sacks on the public highway between 5am to 6am and 5pm to 6pm;
· Waste can be placed on the footway, immediately against premises;
· Waste must be fully contained in an authorised sack;
· Any waste left outside of these times will result in the producer being issued with a fixed penalty notice.
During the next few weeks, the council will be out talking to local businesses and residents in the identified time banded area about any concerns or questions they may have on the scheme.
Initially it is proposed to introduce the scheme in the Wimbledon area. This would include all or part of the following roads.
Time banding has already been successfully implemented in other London boroughs. This scheme, if successful in Wimbledon, will then be rolled out across other town centres in Merton.
Merton Council's cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge, said: "This is a positive initiative for those who live, work and visit Merton. Time banding will help improve the cleanliness of our streets and make our town centres more pleasant and attractive for all.
"We want to make Wimbledon a destination town centre for people to visit. I would encourage residents and local businesses in the proposed time banded area to feed back their views on the scheme to Merton so we can ensure all views are considered."
But Conservative Environment Spokesman Councillor Richard Hilton said: "We all want clean streets but as usual the Labour council has acted in haste and hasn't considered the impact on residents. If they'd bothered to ask us in advance, we would have pointed out these problems.
"Forcing residents and businesses to put bins out in just two one-hour long slots will clearly disrupt lives. For that reason alone this is a daft idea; combine it with the plans to fine people who disobey this ridiculous rule and it becomes a shockingly vindictive one too."
And Lib Dems in the Dundonald ward have fed back to the council after worried residents have contacted them. They want to know what research and consultation was done with affected residents; why a one-hour time band is proposed, when neighbouring Wandsworth has a two-hour band; why residents are being treated in the same way as businesses.
The council wants people to feed back to the proposed time banded collections by emailing WSGCorrespondence@merton.gov.uk.
February 8, 2013