The council must clean up its act on waste collection

Friday, 14th January

• A PLEA to Councillor Adam Harrison, the Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden, ahead of council elections in May.

Please clean up your act as regards waste collection and recycling on Camden housing estates.

Most Camden residents – just as many others elsewhere do – place items for recycling in green bins and other waste for landfill or incineration in black bins for the contractor Veolia to collect. It makes visual sense and works reasonably well.

Camden Council, in its wisdom, decrees that the business waste contract, which includes housing estates, does precisely the opposite; and this is a recipe for confusion and contamination.

I live on an estate and every time I try to dispose of my rubbish responsibly, I see that the large black wheelie bin, meant for “green” recycling, contains black bags and food waste while the green bin (landfill) contains cardboard and glass.

No wonder Cllr Harrison is supporting the new incinerator at Edmonton. How else is Camden going to dispose of so much contaminated recycling?

I have raised this issue countless times over several years with Camden Council officers, including the lead on business waste, and also contacted ward councillors to ask for the business waste bins colours to be made consistent with residential waste bins. I have never received a response, explanation, or justification.

I also had to fight tooth and nail to retain the large food waste container in the shared bin store of the “flagship” Passivhaus Chester Balmore Estate, in order to be able to empty my kitchen caddy.

Sadly the 1,100 plus residents on the nearby Whittington Estate no longer have the option to separate and recycle their kitchen waste, another likely cause of contamination. There, all the kitchen waste bins have been removed.

We all read and hear about a climate emergency; 2022 is surely the year to focus on what can be achieved on our doorstep in the short term and this is an easy fix.


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