I still don’t like Mondays – and here’s why

Here’s how the bin men left my street after their weekly visit.

Pavements blocked? Check…

Awkwardly dumped wheelie-bins? Check…

Making life hard for people with buggies? Check…

Rotting teabags scattered over the pavement. Check!

Not really fitting of a “royal borough”, eh? And this was after the pavements were blocked by full-up wheelie bins all afternoon. I called Greenwich Council to have a word and hopefully they’ll come back to finish the job off properly (sweeping the mess up, as opposed to kicking over the wheelie bins and making more of a mess). Maybe they’ll even do it right first time next week. Here’s hoping, eh?


  1. We have the same problem in Plumstead on Thursdays. I do wonder whether the recycling in some way makes up for the amount of plastic these bins use.
    As they are strewn all over the streets, it’s often impossible to take the tot out in her stroller. I also don’t like her touching the bins as they reek. Much much worse in summer though.

  2. We get this in Kilburn too. My bins went unemptied for more than three weeks from just before Christmas (maybe they could blame the snow for three or four days’ delay, but not a fortnight). You could tell when they were finally emptied as the streets were strewn with rubbish. It is all much worse since the council negotiated with a new firm, Veolia, about three years ago. Our Green Box service is now a bit of a shambles as well. Our council, Brent, is Lib-Dem run, by the way (although it seems the real power lies with the handful of Tories they rely on to stay in power).

  3. Sparkysparky – That’s not good. Veolia, incidentally, has a transport arm which used to be known as… Connex.

  4. The guys who do our bins in Blackheath send a runner in advance to pull out all the bins into the street, sadly they don’t have someone following to put the bins back again… I get the impression that they are meant to put them back because if you watch them out of the window while they work, they invariably put them back in the right place… It would be nice to know whether they are meant to or not though from someone in the know…

  5. I completely agree! It might not seem like a big deal, but if the council insist on 6 wheelie-bins outside every house, then they could at least put them back where they found them. And don’t get me started on the bloody racket that they make.

    Wheelie bins are a great example of offsetting labour costs through cheap oil. Made out of plastic, designed to be tipped into automated dustbin trucks powered by petrol engines.

    Don’t worry. Give it a few years, and it’ll be back to a pony and trap, powered by oats.

  6. The big bins are also very difficult to manoeuvre for most elderly folks and anyone with mobility issues, particularly when they are full (the bins, not the folks).

  7. Trouble is, I’ve tried in the past to get sensible answers out of Greenwich Council about this, but with no luck. When I’ve mentioned the issue on here in the past, it’s been thought the council is worried about litigation from anybody whose property might be damaged by the bin men returning the wheelies. But it’s inconsistent. This week, my own bins were left in the road, my neighbours’ were returned. In other weeks, it’s been the reverse.

    Complaining to the council feels like a war of attrition. It’s enough to make you stand for election.

    As usual, a comparison with the open approach in Lewisham – http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2010/01/guest-column-lewishams-domestic-waste.html

  8. “Maybe they’ll even do it right first time next week. Here’s hoping, eh?”

    You’re being silly!

  9. According to one of the Greenwich councillors, the bins are supposed to be “put back where they came from”. Most of us would take that to mean “put back where they came from”; the people emptying the bins seem to have a looser interpretation, preferring instead to turn the footpaths into obstacle courses that challenge the mobility of even the most athletic pedestrians. As for people with small children in pushchairs or the elderly or the disabled, the council would probably recommend they stay at home on bin days. And if I was planning a career in house-breaking, bin day would be a pretty good day to figure out who’s home and who’s not: bins still out on the street at 4pm suggests to me that there’s no-one home to take in the bins.

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