Thursday, February 25, 2010

Talking Rubbish at Council

Yesterday night at Council, members from all parties talked rubbish. Yes, it's an old joke, and one I used to open my speech on our motion about recycling in the borough (to their credit, everyone groaned). We were attempting to draw attention to the fact that although there has been good progress in increasing household recycling in Greenwich, there remain problems.

Specifically, as I know all too well, it is very difficult for people in flats to recycle their domestic rubbish. Houses can have their Green, Blue and Black wheelie bins, but this isn't possible for properties without their own outside space. In all the flats I've lived in since moving to the Borough, we've had large communal bins without seperate ones for recycling.

When my partner rang the Council (more mystery shopping) to ask if we could have wheelie bins for our current flat, the answer was that as there's no designated space for them (except the large access lane at the back), we could only have a small recycling box, and black sacks to put general rubbish in. Problem is, we told to leave these outside the flat for collection. As we live above a parade of shops, that isn't really viable. So we have to continue putting all our rubbish in a large communal bin, which isn't very green.

It's a real problem, as even Labour councillors acknowledged, but the Labour Group chose to amend our motion to delete any reference to improving recycling in flats. They also failed to match our firm commitment to maintain weekly collection of all waste, which should give residents pause for thought when they cast their votes in May. As I put it, people should perhaps vote Blue to go Green.

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