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Neighbours complain over Barnet bin collection shake-up

Neighbours complain over Barnet bin collection shake-up

A shake-up of waste collections has left neighbours on one street having to wheel their bins all the way across a green so they can be emptied.

Wayne Stevens, who lives in Watling Avenue, Burnt Oak, says people living in his row of houses have had their bins collected from outside their front gates for decades.

But four months ago, “without explanation”, that stopped – and neighbours had to start wheeling the bins along the green and up to street level.

Mr Stevens said it was a “difficult task”, and he could not understand why the council had changed their collection point.

He said: “There are elderly people here, and one of my neighbours has arthritis. I’m 57, and wheeling three heavy bins is no small feat.

“When I’m at work, I don’t get in until early evening, and the bins are strewn about the pavement. People throw rubbish in them after they have just been emptied.

“I can’t understand why the council didn’t tell us in the first place. To this day, they are not explaining anything.”

Mr Stevens said he could manage in fine weather but was worried about what would happen during the winter months, in the “ice, snow and rain”.

He added: “It sounds trivial – but where we live, it is not trivial. I can’t see any justification for it.”

Mr Stevens said there were a series of greens along the road, so other people in the borough could be facing similar problems.

He added neighbours had complained to the council several times but had not been given a convincing explanation of why the change had been made.

Mr Stevens said someone at the council recently told him the collection point had moved because the boundary of their properties ended at the pavement.

But he said that did not explain why the bins had always been collected from outside their homes – and would mean neighbours could leave their cars on the grass.

He added that neighbours had also complained to the Local Government Ombudsman, which cited a by-law to say the council was within its rights to change the collection point.

Mr Stevens said: “This is not about what they have a right to do – it is about doing the right thing.”

A council spokesperson said: “Barnet’s household recycling and waste collection policies were reviewed by our Environment Committee in September 2018 to make the service more efficient.

“The council may change collection points where necessary to ensure bin collections can operate as efficiently as possible.

“We understand that some residents may have physical difficulties putting their bins out for collection.

“If residents need assistance, they can apply for an assisted collection at: barnet.gov.uk/assistedbincollection.”

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