Wheelie bins pilot starting in Lavender Fields

Residents in the Lavender Fields area of Mitcham are due to get their new bins this week as part of the council’s wheelie bin pilot.

From Friday 27 March, residents in a small number of roads in Lavender Fields will receive two wheelie bins ahead of their first collection taking place on Thursday 2 April. Lavender Fields was identified by the council as a good area to conduct a pilot because of the broad variety of property types there. Residents who are part of the pilot have been contacted by the council about how it will work.  The pilot will last six months and include around 1,050 households.

The aim of the pilot is to assess whether wheelie bins can help in improving the cleanliness of the borough’s streets and ensuring value for money for council taxpayers.

Funding for the pilot has come largely from the Department for Communities and Local Government (£67,000) which will allow for two additional vehicles and crews. The outlay for the council is £48,000 to go on the bins, which has come from a small underspend.

The council’s scrutiny committee will play a key part in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of wheelie bins. After the six month trial, the scrutiny committee will carry out an in-depth assessment into whether wheelie bin collections are value for money for residents and whether they result in the improvements to street cleanliness and recycling rates.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking Councillor Judy Saunders said: “We’re carrying out this modest pilot to see if wheelie bins would offer residents cleaner streets and good value for money. We know that black sacks are often ripped open by foxes and our recycling boxes have no lids so the rubbish blows onto the street. We want to see if wheelie bins can help. Having wheelie bins could also mean recycling is kept dry which might make it easier to recycle with even less waste going to landfill.

“We understand that a small percentage of households would not be suitable for a wheelie bin and in these cases the current recycling boxes will continue to be an option along with black sacks for general waste. Our scrutiny committee will examine the pilot’s results in detail so that we fully understand any potential advantages or disadvantages for residents.

“I’m keen to explore all options to make our streets cleaner and to ensure value for money for residents so I’m looking forward to seeing how the pilot goes. It will be a good test of whether or not wheelie bins can help.”