Report by Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Overflowing rubbish bins and fly-tipped waste have left residents across Enfield subjected to “sickening smells” during the coronavirus outbreak, according to an opposition councillor.
Councillor Lindsay Rawlings, shadow cabinet member for environment, called on Enfield Council to tackle the problem after receiving “far too many reports” of large amounts of dumped waste.
The council reduced both general waste and recycling bin collections to fortnightly at the start of March, just before the pandemic began. The subsequent lockdown then necessitated the closure of Barrowell Green Recycling Centre in Winchmore Hill until mid-May.
Cllr Rawlings, a Conservative member for Town ward, said: “I am hearing far too many reports from across the borough of large amounts of waste being dumped. I’ve seen spots where as soon as one pile is cleared more is being left.
“With the hot weather, residents are being subjected to sickening smells. With children off school and people at home, they should be able to enjoy their surroundings without having to continually avoid piles of rubbish.”
While Barrowell Green partly re-opened on 11th May, visitors have to make pre-booked appointments and a range of safety measures are in place at the centre to protect staff and visitors from Covid-19, reducing the range of items that can be taken there.
An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “In line with our neighbouring boroughs, Barrowell Green Recycling Centre re-opened when it was thought safe to do so and is operating a booking system with some restrictions on what can be brought to the centre.
“We will continue to review ways in which we can increase the materials taken to the centre while ensuring that the site operates efficiently and social distancing measures can be maintained.
“Enfield Council has offered a comprehensive waste and recycling service while at the same time being mindful of the health and safety of residents and staff. We have assessed the needs and requirements of our residents whilst encompassing the guidelines issued by public health bodies and the government.”
The spokesperson pointed out that the council had continued to operate bulky waste collections during the coronavirus pandemic.