Refuse collection in the capital follow up

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In response to Question 2014/3348 from September 2014, you wrote "my officers will pass on a copy of your question and my answer to the City of Westminster and London Borough of Camden." Have you since received a response from either council?


Answer for Refuse collection in the capital follow up

Answer for Refuse collection in the capital follow up

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have only received the following response from LB Camden;

"Camden is aware that there is an issue with the illegal disposal of waste from business in the borough and have taken education and enforcement action to tackle it, and are planning additional measures in the future.

In order to maintain clean streets, Camden operates a 'clear all policy', whereby all bags of waste presented on the pavement in non-identifiable bags (black bags) are collected. This can include unpaid business waste as well as domestic waste and some businesses take advantage of this policy. Education and enforcement is an extremely important aspect of managing both residential and business waste, particularly in dense urban areas with a high proportion of business activity. Business disposing of their waste illegally are not only failing to meet their legal obligations, but also shifting the cost of their business waste to the council.  Council officers use enforcement powers, available in the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to educate and drive business compliance.  Over the past year Camden officers have issued over 1,400 legal notices and fixed penalty notices to businesses who fail to comply with their legal obligations relating to waste management.  Camden has also successfully prosecuted 5 businesses for not managing their waste properly.

In order to maintain the cleanliness of the borough, Camden uses 'time banded collections' to restrict the amount of time waste is left on the streets; helping to drive compliance and keep streets clean. There are three time banded collections (morning afternoon and evening) in busy areas to ensure business and residents who have restricted space to store waste and place it out for collection at a time to suit their needs. In Camden these currently operate in Hampstead Town, Camden Town, Kentish Town and Queens Crescent and these will be expanded to cover Holborn, Seven Dials, Kilburn and West Hampstead in the near future."

Update received on 25 June 2015

A response has been received from Westminster Council as follows:

Westminster devotes considerable resources to maintaining Clean Streets and it generally receive very positive feedback on its efforts. Westminster’s most recent annual City Survey confirmed that customer satisfaction levels for waste collection services are at an all-time record high of 90%.   The waste collection time-band system limits when waste can be placed out on the street and this system has been widely adopted across a number of other cities.  Westminster also has a team of 75 City Inspectors to ensure compliance with these requirements. Keeping the streets clean is however a huge challenge; collection vehicles operate 24 hours per day and Westminster carries out approximately one million waste collections every week. The scale and intensity of this service may be the cause of confusion - the vast majority of streets in the West End receive three waste collections per day so the likelihood is that visitors will come across waste bags and/or our collection vehicles at some point on their travels no matter what time of day they visit Westminster. These three collections per day are designed to meet the varying needs of office cleaners, residents, retailers and night-time hospitality businesses.