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Saturday Wind Down Show

With Steve Dean

Wheelie bins coming to Redbridge as council plans to take back control of waste collection

Picture: Christine Johnstone

Redbridge Council has announced plans to introduce wheelie bins as it brings waste management back in-house. 

Private contractor Amey manages the service, which asks residents to leave their black bags on the streets, but its contract is coming to an end soon.

“Black bags are not up to the job because foxes rip them open and leave far more rubbish on the street and in peoples’ gardens than they collect,” according to Council Leader, Jas Athwal. 

“We’re trialing containerisation with the wheelie bins to stop this and making sure we have trucks that can accommodate what we’re trying to do.”

The council is also hoping to reduce costs by creating its own company to manage the operation and cutting out the middle man. 

“We currently spend over £18 million a year of taxpayers’ money collecting 22 million black sacks of rubbish and switching to bins would produce significant savings in the longer term,” added  Councillor John Howard. 

“We are committed to cleaning up our streets and moving away from sacks keeps front gardens clear, help us tackle the fly-tipping problem and stops commercial businesses from dumping trade waste in front gardens, which is a growing problem.”

More than 60% of residents supported the idea during a consultation for the council’s Waste Reduction Strategy, which attracted the highest response for an online questionnaire in 2018. 

It could also help increase the recycling rate in the borough above 30%. 

All workers will keep their jobs under the new system and their “conditions and pay will be better,” according to Cllr Athwal.    

Potential routes are being considered while the council prepares to introduce a paper at the next cabinet meeting on Monday, 18 March. 

If it passes, a trial period will begin in a couple of months and a full operation could be running by next year. 

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