By now, Residents will have received a letter from the Council, telling them that they must use their Rubbish cupboards, and that the Council will be providing them with a new bin, to keep their rubbish in, some time soon.
The Residents Association would like to make it clear that this is not the solution that we have been campaigning for.
The Kambala RA are used to the Council making decisions without consulting us, despite the fact that they continually tell us that they want to encourage Resident Involvement – but the incompetence shown in this case is unbelievable.
The RA have been campaigning for a solution to the Rubbish problem on the Estate for at least five years. At various times in the past the Council has told us that:
- Having more than one collection per week is not possible. (Even though there are *some* streets in the Borough which do get twice-weekly collections).
- It’s not possible for the rubbish contractor to collect from rubbish cupboards as well as from larger “Euro” bins.
- The Council will not provide Residents with bins to put rubbish in. (Even though that’s exactly what they propose to do now).
- The Council will erect notices at the key “fly-tipping” points on the Estate, to discourage fly-tipping. (These have never appeared)
- The Rubbish cupboards would be cleaned weekly, to discourage rats, and to encourage Residents to use them. (This was subsequently quietly dropped)
Finally, at the end of last year, we got agreement from the Council that they would install large “Euro” bins, at three key fly-tipping points on the Estate, in Fawcett Close, Hicks Close, and McDermott Close. These would be placed there for a trial period of 6 months, and if successful, could be extended to other points around the Estate, including Coppock Close.
Since then, almost every time we have asked the Council when the bins would be installed, we’ve been told “within the next two weeks”. Drop kerbs were installed earlier this year, so that the bins could be wheeled to the rubbish lorry, and as recently as our AGM at the start of April, we were promised that the bins would be arriving “soon”.
Now, little more than a month later, the Rubbish contractor has told the Council that it will cost around £50 per household extra to collect from these Euro bins. The Council has decided that this would have to be paid for out of Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ service charges, but that it’s too expensive to do that. So their solution is to write a letter, and give us all bins instead!
It’s difficult to express just how frustrated I feel about this – I finally felt we were getting somewhere last year when, after 3 years of telling us we couldn’t have large bins as well as small ones, the Council finally relented. Now we seem to be back to square one.
We will be asking the Council the following questions at our Public Meeting on June 11th:
- Why did the Council take so long (5 months!) to discover that it would be too expensive to collect from the extra bins, and why were the Drop Kerbs installed before this?
- We want an assurance that the cost of installing the Drop Kerbs will not be added to Residents Service Charges, since they are apparently not now required, and were only installed due to the Council’s incompetence.
- Since the Rubbish collection contractor will still be collecting the same amount of rubbish from the Estate, regardless of whether it is contained in bins, or dumped on the ground, why has the Council not disputed the £25,000+ extra per year that the Contractor wants to charge? (The RA has obtained their own quotes for rubbish collection, and has found that it can be arranged for as little as £1500 per bin per year)
- The Council has a duty to remove domestic rubbish from all homes in the borough, and this is paid for by the Council Tax. Why would any additional costs come out of Service Charges, and not out of the Council Tax budget?
- The Council has accepted in the past, that for larger families and/or properties, the rubbish cupboards are simply not big enough to hold a week’s worth of rubbish – even when Residents can pile bags on top of each other in the cupboard. Why do they think that putting a dustbin that holds at most two bags inside each cupboard is going to improve things?
- The Council has written to all Residents several times in the past, to remind them not to dump rubbish on the street. Why do they think that their latest letter will succeed where others have failed?
- There are at least a dozen rubbish cupboards around the Estate which are in a very poor state of repair, with doors broken or damaged. The Council needs to do a complete inspection and repair any that are broken.
Finally, I would like to add that it’s not all the Council’s fault. There are still lots of Residents who simply don’t bother to use their bin cupboards, and just dump the rubbish. I live right opposite one of the dumping locations on McDermott Close, and I can guarantee that even though everyone knows that the Rubbish collection day is Wednesday, by Thursday morning, there will be at least a couple of black bags dumped there.
Please feel free to leave comments below – and please try to come along to the Public Meeting on June 11th, to let the Council know your views on this.