Wheelie bin invasion makes South Hampstead ‘look like a dump’

Bins lining a South Hampstead street. Picture: Peter Symonds

Bins lining a South Hampstead street. Picture: Peter Symonds - Credit: Archant

Dustbins are invading South Hampstead streets according to the chair of a residents’ association, who says roads are the “dirtiest he has ever seen them”.

Dozens of green recycling bins have been left on the pavements, blocking the way for pedestrians in and around Greencroft and Canfield Gardens, with passers-by reportedly dropping rubbish on top and beside the plastic containers.

Peter Symonds, chair of the Combined Residents’ Associations of South Hampstead (CRASH), blames the “invasion” on changes to the bin collection system in South Hampstead, which came into force across Camden earlier this month.

Waste from wheelie bins and recycling bins are now collected on the same day.

Mr Symonds claims that while binmen put rubbish bins back on the boundary of properties, recycling collectors Veolia leave the large green bins on pavements after emptying them. He also argues there are too many bins for each property.

He said: “If you’re a woman with a pram or you’re in a wheelchair, you would not be able to get by. It’s terrible.

“I completely appreciate that Camden Council want more people to recycle and we are totally in favour of that.

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“But the streets are the dirtiest I have ever seen and I’ve lived here for 20 years.

“It looks like a recycling dump.”

Camden Council said bins may have been left on the streets on collection day, though this is not supposed to happen.

A spokesman said: “We are in the midst of rolling out the changes to our recycling service to drive up recycling and save money.

“This is a major undertaking that affects every property in the borough and is logistically complex.

“We are monitoring issues and resolving them as quickly as possible.”

The council’s recycling manager arranged for the streets to be cleaned after Mr Symonds complaints.

But he said pavements were once again cluttered with recycling bins after collections last Monday (July 29).

Conservative councillor Andrew Marshall, who represents Swiss Cottage, said problems are not restricted to South Hampstead.

“This is not happening just in South Hampstead, but in Belsize Park and anywhere you have old houses with multiple ownership, because there is limited front garden space for bins,” he said.

“The recycling collectors are not putting bins back in the right place and are leaving them on the pavements, and that’s not good enough.

“Problems still need to be fixed but the council is moving in the right direction and working to resolve them.”

Highgate residents have been complaining about overflowing wheelie bins for nearly two years after Haringey Council introduced similar fortnightly rubbish collections. A so-called “Dalek bin invasion” has angered residents in The Miltons, who have been left with two large wheelie bins outside every house cluttering the pavement.