Tower Hamlets refuse workers miss bin collections because ‘they don’t know the routes’

Tower Hamlets Council attributes high numbers of fly-tipping to poor waste collection services, claiming that refuse workers miss roads due to inadequate knowledge of routes.

Tower Hamlets council has claimed some refuse workers are missing bin collections on certain roads in the borough because “they don’t know the routes”.

During a Tower Hamlets Council overview and scrutiny committee meeting last night (May 16), Cllr Sabina Khan blamed the borough’s waste services for recent fly-tipping incidents in the borough.

Cllr Khan told the committee and senior members from the borough’s waste services team: “One of the reasons fly-tipping is happening is because your services – the root cause is that your service is not 100 per cent.

“You’re not collecting on time, you miss collections, your vehicles are down, your people [are] temporary workers who you rely on.”

She went on: “I’ve been told, some of them – the workers – they don’t know the routes, they don’t know what’s happening so they’re missing road groups at a time.

“So instead of waging war on residents, I think you need to wage war on yourself, on the performance of if it’s [7,431] incidents of [fly-tipping], what does it equate to in money terms? How much did you have to pay for resources to take you down there? That’s what you need to look at.”

According to a council document that was presented to the committee last night, the borough has seen 7,431 reported incidents of fly-tipping for 2022/23.

From April to September, there were 3,864 reported fly-tipping incidents while a further 3,107 were reported from October to March.

Spitalfields and Banglatown Ward had the highest number of fly-tipping incidents throughout the whole year, according to the same document.

In an attempt to clamp down on the problem, the borough’s waste services team has increased its collection of dumps and fly-tips at night and currently has two vehicles for this, while extra CCTV cameras have been set up in fly-tipping hotspots.

Simon Baxter, director of Public Realm at Tower Hamlets later said in the meeting: “For me, there is a lot of work to do, the mayor declared a waste emergency and that’s one of the reasons I’m here to sort that out.

“I want to see first-hand what’s happening and to understand what the issues are – it could be a whole sea of things but historically, has the service been embraced as much as it could be? Possibly not.”

He went on to say: “I know that and I take responsibility for that but I can assure members that I will work my hardest to improve things. I need to understand the structures because at the moment it does seem slightly fragmented.”

In November 2022, the mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman declared a waste emergency for the borough.

He said in a statement: “Since I took office, I have repeatedly highlighted the unacceptable levels of dirt and waste on the streets of Tower Hamlets.

“I have had one simple and consistent ask – that our streets be presentable and respectable for all our residents.”

He added: “That is why today [November 16, 2022], I am declaring a waste emergency in Tower Hamlets.

“My administration will no longer tolerate inaction and high levels of waste in our borough.”

Our members

Real Talk East London

Roman Road Trust

The Illusion of Depth at Victoria Baptist Church, Bow

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Plan

Save Our Safer Streets Bethnal Green


Your local news is at risk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.