Wombles

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has hit upon a novel solution to the problem of people dumping rubbish in the street - they're going to take away the litter bins.

The council made the announcement on its website, claiming that a pilot scheme had been successful. So how can this be a solution?

Bins

The council announced this week: "We have the cleanest streets in the Capital. As part of our determination to keep them that way we have been looking at a range of issues associated with the siting of bins in our residential side streets."

It is arguing that bin bags and fly tipping tend to congregate around these litter bins. It removed bins from one side of Earl's Court Road and noticed there wasn't a particularly detrimental effect. The council said: "Currently, the balance of evidence suggests that while they may produce a slight reduction in littering, they attract significant amounts of domestic and commercial dumping so that, overall, their impact is a negative one."

Taken away

Its brilliant solution is to take the bins away. It said: "Our policy, therefore, is to reduce the number of bins in side streets and instead concentrate on putting them where they have a clear positive impact, such as outside schools, fast food outlets, underground stations and retail areas. The intention is also to place some column mounted bins around garden squares."

It has attracted a certain amount of eye-rolling from locals who are convinced that this is a money-saving wheeze. The Twitter reaction wasn't particularly positive. ‏@Yanzerman said: "Kensington and Chelsea Council remove rubbish bins because of too much rubbish, why not tear up the roads because of too much traffic."

Meanwhile @montse_gili said: "Kensington and Chelsea council want to remove street bins 'because they attract rubbish'... Err... Yeah... isn't that the point?" And @jenniferpittam said: "Hope they like rats...

However, the council is also investing £60,000 in new bins. It says this move is about cleaning up the streets rather than saving cash. It has added: "The impact of our policy is being closely monitored. We remain committed to being the cleanest borough in London."

Kathy Way, the council's head of waste and street enforcement, said in a report: "There are two schools of thought regarding litter bins; one is that litter bins are needed for the public to use, indeed that some members of the public look for litter bins in which to deposit waste, otherwise they may take it home or drop it on the street. The other is that litter bins attract more rubbish, some of which can be unpaid-for commercial waste and domestic waste."

So how can it work?

It may appear crazy to people who live outside the capital, but fly-tipping in part of life in the centre of the Capital.

If you live in Kensington and Chelsea, there's a good chance you have to come down six floors, cross a busy road, and walk for a minute to reach the nearest communal residents bins.

Some people, who may be living there for a year or so and have no community feeling or care for their fellow Londoners, might well see a litter bin on the street outside their house and think they may as well leave the rubbish there as someone will be along to collect it later.

Likewise, they might not want the bother of calling the council to take away an old mattress when they can lean it against the bin and run.

Taking these litter bins away may just remove the temptation. It's not going to stop determined fly-tippers, but it may stop people who might not think they are currently doing anything wrong.

Those who live in areas where everyone knows each other and there's a feeling of community may think this is bonkers, but that's just what people are like in this part of the capital.

So what do you think? Will it work, or is this idea rubbish? Let us know in the comments.




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