Revealed: hundreds of missed rubbish collections in Bow in six months

Chris Rawlins

Chris Rawlins - Credit: Archant

Careless binmen missed 667 rubbish collections in one postcode in just six months, it has emerged.

Rubbish has been left to overflow out of bins in the E3 postcode - which mainly incorporates Bow - during the sweltering summer months.

But lax council chiefs only hit contractor Veolia – paid by the town hall to collect waste – with nine fines during the smelly six month period.

Arbery Road resident Chris Rawlins, 50, said he thought the number of reports doesn’t come close to the total number of missed collections.

“Clearly somebody’s being very economical with the truth”, he said.


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“Residents are suffering. It becomes unsanitary and smelly.”

Mr Rawlins called on the council to enforce Veolia’s obligations more stringently.

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“A contract is a contract; the council should be fining them. There’s something clearly going very wrong.”

The figures were revealed after Bow West Councillor Joshua Peck received a slew of complaints about the odious problem from angry residents.

“The worrying thing is that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We will be looking into the situation across the borough to make sure that residents are getting the bin collection service they pay for.”

Veolia declined to set out reasons for the missed collections, insisting Tower Hamlets Council was best placed to answer the enquiry.

But a council spokeswoman instead pointed to the fact that reports of missed collections amounted to less than one per cent of total pick-ups.

“The council manages a large scale waste collection operation and over the six month period above the contractors carried out approximately 122,000 domestic waste collections in the area, and a similar amount again for recycling,” she said.

“We continue to work with to ensure that the waste collection service is run as effectively as possible.”

The council declined to reveal how much Veolia was fined on each of the nine occasions it was hit with a penalty in the past six months.

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