Families 'plagued by rats' call for more bin collections in Poplar

Overflowing waste such as pizza boxes and home delivery egg crates left uncollected.

Overflowing waste such as pizza boxes and home delivery egg crates left uncollected. - Credit: Teviot action group

Families plagued by rats and wild foxes are calling for more recycling collections on Poplar’s Teviot housing estate. 

Skips have been overflowing with collections just once a week, which is not sufficient during the pandemic, according to the Teviot tenants' action group. 

“Collections are Mondays but the rubbish overflows badly by the following Monday,” the action group’s director Crissy Townsend told the East London Advertiser. “It’s disgusting — we get rats and foxes on the piles of waste. 

“People are ordering more meals online delivered to their homes during lockdown, which means more food packaging piled up in the skips as well as the usual household waste.”  

The Teviot volunteers, who have their own office on the estate running community projects, held a crisis meeting on June 23 and are now calling on the mayor of Tower Hamlets to take direct action.  

“We are fed up living in this state,” Crissy added. “We’re forever calling the council’s pest control who are now always seen on the estate. 

“The overflowing skips are so close to bedroom windows which upsets the families. We see rats every day and need to wake up the council.” 

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She has lived on the estate nearly 50 years and says the problem has never been as bad as it is now, with more people spending time at home during lockdown generating more waste.

The recycling bins were later collected on the Teviot Estate, the Advertiser learned from Tower Hamlets Council.

Its spokesman pointed out: “The bins had been contaminated with general household waste, which meant that they were collected 48 hours after regular collections in line with council policy."

The town hall promised: "We are aware of issues with waste management on this estate and are working with managing agents to address these concerns.”  

The Teviot tenants' group blames reduction in refuse collections since the council took back responsibility in-house after the Viola contract ended.

Tower Hamlets Council is understood to have received around 4,000 enquiries about bin collections across the East End, according to information from its overview committee.