Ealing's Rubbish Collections To Go Fortnightly

Cost cutting measure to be made in next two years

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Ealing's rubbish and recycling collection is likely to be downgraded from weekly to fortnightly in a bid to save money.

The council has to make £96 million in savings in the next four years and says it has no option but to fundamentally change and stop some services by spring 2019.

More than 400 staff have been put at risk of redundancy and there are warnings that local services will face big cuts too.

A cost cutting package will be put before the Cabinet next week and included - amongst a raft of measures - is the prospect of fortnightly rubbish collections.

The saving achieved by moving to 'an alternate weekly waste and source-separated recycling collection' in 2016/17 would be nearly a million pounds.

The news has been met with anger from the opposition parties.

Cllr Greg Stafford, Leader of the Conservative Group said: ''In 2011, when Labour appointed new contractors, they quietly priced in the option to move to a fortnightly service.  They tested the waters first with the garden waste service which also became chargeable. Despite this change being a massive failure, with the fly tipping increasing and borough’s recycling rate in decline, Labour are now planning to impose wheelie bins on all of us and move the waste and recycling services to fortnightly under the pretext of budget pressures.

''Labour is sitting on millions in reserves, and whilst they were happy to dip into to award themselves a pay increase, they are not willing to fund vital frontline services.  As it is, the current contractor cannot collect the weekly waste and recycling in a timely fashion.  Moving to a fortnightly service will only exacerbate this problem.  It’s quite clear that rather than defending our services, Labour is hell-bent on destroying them.”

Liberal Democrat Gary Malcolm said: "Liberal Democrats are against this move as it is very likely to cause even more problems with foxes and rats opening missed bags of household waste. There will also be more litter to sweep up. The priority should be to ensure our streets are kept clean and missed collections do not occur. Labour said they were against this and so no one should trust them now.''

Ealing are also proposing to reduce the number of Envirocrime Prevention Officers by half from 12 to 6. These are the Council employees responsible for monitoring fly-tipping which many people fear will increase anyway as a result of fortnightly collections.

Ealing Council say they will be giving further information about the cuts at a briefing to be held tomorrow (Wednesday 19th)

See Cabinet paper here: Item 07 - Appendix 1A pg 5 of 8 row 21)

18th November 2014