Council are ‘hiding’ problem of overflowing rubbish bins in Highgate

Street cleaners are deliberately hiding the problem of overflowing wheelie bins from a government watchdog, it has been claimed.

Teams of Haringey Council contractors swooped on The Miltons in Highgate to move bins off the street and remove excess rubbish while an inspection by the Local Government Ombudsman was taking place, according to the chairman of a residents’ group.

Christopher Riley, 44, chairman of The Miltons Residents Association, said the council was “trying to hide the problem” from the ombudsman.

“They are ticking all the right boxes,” he said. “They come round and skim the rubbish off the tops of bins so they don’t stay open. They just take stuff out that is exposed, but that doesn’t solve the problem. They make the place look as presentable as possible because they are trying to hide the problem.”

Residents have gone to the ombudsman to raise concerns over Haringey Council’s fornightly rubbish collections, which began in March 2012 in a bid to reduce emissions.

The changes have also left residents with two wheelie bins outside each house, which some have likened to a “Dalek invasion”.

Mr Riley, of Milton Avenue, also claimed that the Veolia street cleaning teams, provided by Haringey Council, make sure the streets are tidy on the day of council meetings when the issue will be raised.

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A Haringey Council spokesman said: “We have been in regular contact with residents in the Miltons to try to address any concerns they may have.

“In order to ensure that the road is kept clean and tidy, the locally based street cleansing team undertake a street sweeping service - collecting waste and clearing dumps seven times as standard during every fortnightly refuse collection cycle.

“Where necessary, we are engaging with residents and adjusting bin provision to ensure adequate capacity for waste and correct use of bins to prevent bins from overflowing.

“All recyclable waste – including dry waste and food – is still collected weekly.

“Across the borough, recycling rates have risen significantly as a result of changes and improvements to collections.”