Doubts over merits of time slots for waste collectionsAlternatives now being looked at by Barnet Council
Barnet Council could ditch plans for a wider rollout of time-banded waste collections after they failed to eliminate fly-tipping and led to a drop in income.
A plan to introduce time-banded collections in 27 parts of the borough “no longer necessarily represents the most effective solution” for the areas, according to a report presented to the environment committee on Wednesday.
Time-banded collections allow residents and businesses to leave their waste at identified locations within specific time slots. The council introduced them in Mill Hill in 2018 and Burnt Oak in 2019 in a bid to stop fly-tipping and street clutter caused by waste containers.
But although the changes made street cleaning easier, they led to a drop in revenue for the council, while fly-tipping continued. Council staff have also experienced “aggressive behaviour” from people wanting to dispose of waste outside of the scope of the service, according to the report, which proposed setting up three “working groups” to come up with alternative ways to improve the street scene and cut fly-tipping.
Speaking during the meeting, Labour’s Geof Cooke asked for more details of the alternatives being explored by the council. He said the issue had a “long history” and added: “We have had several years to think about this.”
Street scene director Craig Miller said the council was now suggesting “an enhancement to the model that was approved" with new working groups "that can continue to consider time-banding as an option" but which would also consider alternatives if time-bandning was not thought viable.
The report also reveals that following the introduction of time-banded collections, commercial waste revenue raised in Burnt Oak fell from £30,000 to £13,000. This was partly because some businesses switched to other waste collection services. It adds that similar moves in a larger town centre or other areas could result in “significant losses of commercial revenue”.
The committee unanimously agreed to set up the three working groups to come up with alternative options to improve the street scene and reduce fly-tipping.