Residents complain after their bins are not collected

By Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter

12th Aug 2022 | Local News

South Londoners have said their council block became infested with flies after their rubbish wasn't collected for a month even though they complained multiple times. People living on Cornwall Court on Garratt Lane in Tooting said their bins were overflowing with piled-up rubbish.

Wandsworth Council and its waste contractor Serco have both apologised for the disruption caused to residents. They said refuse crews removed the surplus rubbish on Tuesday and will resume normal services once the scaffolding on a building next door is removed.

But residents told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the council had taken weeks to address their concerns despite being chased on the issue multiple times. They said some of the waste was removed on Tuesday and that the estate manager was now dealing with the issue, but claimed the council had been "impossible" to communicate with.

Lisa, who did not wish to give her surname, said the flies had been coming into her home from the rubbish, with the bin storage room below her kitchen, which was particularly "awful" during the heatwave. The 35-year-old said she had been on holiday twice and the bins had not been collected either time she got back.

She said: "How can they just decide to stop collecting our rubbish in the middle of summer time when it's roasting and all those flies." She added: "[The flies are] disgusting. You know when you're trying to prepare dinner, and normally I would keep the windows closed but it's so hot."

The resident added that none of them had been warned that their rubbish collection would stop. She said she contacted the council on Monday (August 8) but struggled to get through to anyone and didn't get a call back. She said: "How would they just stop, like it's really confusing, and no communication from the council – just giving us a heads up or something."

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said: "We'd like to sincerely apologise to these residents for the inconvenience they've suffered, which was caused by badly positioned scaffolding erected on a neighbouring privately owned building which blocked access to the bin chambers of this council block.

"We were able to finally gain access to the bin chamber yesterday (Tuesday) and all the surplus waste has been removed. The rest of the scaffolding is set to come down on Friday of this week which will mean we can resume normal collection services. Once again we are sorry for the disruption this has caused the residents."

Franco Murphy, Serco's regional operations manager in London, said: "The scaffolding on a neighbouring building has been preventing our refuse crews from accessing this bin storage area, but we are pleased to report on Tuesday we were able to finally gain access and have emptied the bins. We would like to apologise to all affected residents and thank them for their patience."


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