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Rubbish piles up after bins in Gospel Oak are removed

Bins were being misused, says council officer

27 August, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Mick Farrant highlights his concerns

RUBBISH is piling up on a housing estate following a decision to remove litter bins because they were being “misused”.

Five plastic bins were taken away from Lismore Circus, Gospel Oak, leaving the seven remaining next to children’s play areas overflowing. A council officer said the bins had been removed because people were fly-tipping and this was attracting “rodents and vermin to the estate”.

But resident Glenn Smith, 52, said: “The bins were taken away overnight and there’s now a lot more littering. There’s not enough bins but you can see people are trying not to litter because the other cans are piled high. This is generally a nice place to live and it is so disappointing to see it get like this – it’s bringing the neighbourhood down.

“What kind of impression does it give to people about a place if there is trash everywhere? There’s also little kids playing around near this waste which includes sharp objects.”

Mr Smith is among a group of volunteers who maintain the area’s woodland area and garden. They say they have taken it upon themselves to litter-pick in recent weeks.

He said the bins problem was made worse because “they are not being emptied regularly”, adding: “A lot of us have full-time jobs and it’s just not right that the responsibility should fall to us alone to keep the area clean.”

The bins are believed to have been installed by Veolia, the environmental services company which previously held the contract for the upkeep of Lismore Circus. The council have recently brought the estate’s maintenance back in-house which is said to be one of the reasons behind the removal of the bins. The local authority’s caretaking team says it now “sweeps the estate more frequently and litter-picks daily”.

The owner of Lismore Circus hair salon Goddess said a stretch of the area has become “disgusting”, adding: “They need to put more bins out here, not take them away.”

And resident Mick Farrant, 77, said: “As we say around here, this would never happen in Hampstead. Five years ago we fought to get the five extra bins outside the park and in the woodland, and now they are gone and the council is blaming the residents for overusing them.

“It’s so disheartening. Us volunteers have to spend hours picking up litter now instead of focusing on improving and maintaining the woodland and flowers.”

Town Hall housing chief Cllr Meric Apak said: “The five litter bins, which were removed due to fly-tipping problems, were positioned on a footpath that runs parallel to the railway wall. We shall continue to review the situation to make sure there is no increase in littering, fly-tipping or anti-social behaviour as a result.

“All of the litter bins that were installed in the play and gym areas of Lismore Circus are still on site and have not been removed. They do not suffer fly-tipping as they are located in an enclosed area.”


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