Council refuses to back down on fortnightly collections, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Cuts to bin rounds will go ahead despite thousands of people calling on Enfield Council to re-think the plans.
Labour councillors vowed to press on with waste collection changes that will see both black refuse and blue recycling bins collected every two weeks, from spring next year.
Both bins are still collected once a week in Enfield – and two-thirds of people who responded to a consultation on waste collections said they wanted it to stay that way.
The plans were debated again at a full council meeting last month after nearly 4,000 people signed a petition against the cuts. Palmers Green resident Seraphim Leonidas, who organised the petition, told the meeting most households already filled up their black refuse bins in one week.
He said: “With the new proposals for fortnightly collections, how is it not conceivable that problems will arise?
“Domestic waste will spill on to the streets, encourage wildlife, and cause an unsightly and unhygienic mess.”
Seraphim branded the introduction of a £65-a year charge for garden waste a “stealth tax” and said many people would prefer to burn their waste rather than pay the fee. But cabinet member for environment Guney Dogan blamed government cuts, pointing out the council had been forced to slash it budget by £178million since 2010.
Cllr Dogan said: “Our waste changes will help increase recycling from 35% to 50%. Encouraging recycling will create space in existing refuse bins.”
Several opposition Conservative councillors attacked the Labour administration. Tory leader Joanne Laban said: “We had one of the biggest responses to a consultation in a long time. They said they did not want waste collections changed.
“Enfield residents, time and again, have told this council ‘back off our bins’. Do the right thing and admit you have got it wrong – and keep weekly collections.”
But council leader Nesil Caliskan said the changes were “born out of necessity” and added: “I am proud to say we will be sticking by our original decision.”
Alongside the move to fortnightly bin rounds, a weekly food waste collection service will be introduced. The council has also earmarked an extra £500,000 per year to fund a street cleaning team to combat fly-tipping.
For more information about the upcoming changes to waste collections: