Rubbish is a serious problem on Camden’s major shopping streets, including Hampstead High Street and Heath Street.
In 2011, time-banded collections were introduced, whereby waste was only allowed to be left outside by businesses or residents above businesses within half an hour of a designated pick-up window. This means that no bag of rubbish should be on the street for longer than an hour or so, meaning far less is out at any one time.
This summer, this was extended to West End Lane. However, it’s pretty clear that it hasn’t taken off yet. My Twitter account is inundated with reports of fly-tipping, often by residents unsure about when waste could be left out.
Furthermore, as well as businesses, residents living above shops (including myself) also have to abide by time-banding. So promoting awareness of the times waste can be left out is essential.
I asked the Council to ensure this information was available online – it has previously only been viewable if you have a business log-in, which is not helpful. The Cabinet member said that this change had been made to correct this oversight (the time stamp on the web page confirms that it was edited three days after I submitted by question to the Cabinet member).
I fully support time-banding of collections. Making it work means better education and better enforcement. Making it as easy as possible for people to understand what they can and can’t do is essential.
That means putting up signs, sending letters to residents above shops, and making sure the website’s updated. It also means punishing people that have been informed and reminded, yet still refuse to abide by the rules, is also important.
For more about my campaign to restore weekly bin collections, click here.