Wheelie Bins – have your say

wheeliebinsAs we comment in “Brentham News”, we are again being threatened with “wheelie bins”. In 2008, Ealing Council held a consultation into the use of wheelie bins for refuse collection. Most of the Borough voted to accept the new bins, but two areas, one of which was Brentham and the surrounding area, voted heavily against them. We were allowed to retain black sacks for household refuse, and were given the choice individually of changing to wheelie bins for garden refuse. Fewer than 10 of the 600 houses in Brentham opted for wheelie bins.

The issue has been raised again by the Council, who intend to move to bi-weekly collections of refuse and compulsory use of wheelie bins for this from April 2016.  There has been no consultation this time.  Bassam Mahfouz, the Ealing Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, has said that the only criterion for not using wheelie bins is the “simple lack of available space to store them”. Few of the houses in Brentham will qualify for alternatives, despite the fact that many houses are terraces and will have to store the bins in their front gardens or on the pavement.

The Brentham Society is concerned that the sight of rows of brightly coloured plastic bins in the front gardens of Brentham houses and on the pavements will seriously detract from the ambience of the estate, and so make the area less attractive and desirable in which to live. Other parts of Ealing suffer from this, and so we can see the effect that this will have. We are also concerned that elderly and less able residents may find these big bins difficult to manage.

As a conservation area protected by an Article 4 Directive, we hope to persuade Councillor Mahfouz to agree that we are a special case, and alternative methods of refuse collection can be used, as they are used for example for blocks of flats.

This is something that affects all of us. We would welcome your views – by using the comments facility below. We hope that you will take the trouble to do so and that you will join in the campaign and help us to fight these bins again. We were successful last time, so we feel that with your support we can succeed again.

You can add your name to the Ealing Council petition “Against Wheelie Bins” here but be quick – the petition closes May 18th.

Richard Costella (Chair Brentham Society).

This entry was posted in Archived News, Wheelie Bins. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Wheelie Bins – have your say

  1. I am sure we all agree wheeliebins are not a pretty site, but I think they will be better than what we have now.They have lids to hide the rubbish. They are high off the ground which will stop vermin. The streets will be cleaner, for example Pitshanger Lane. Im all for them in a smaller size.Three cheers for wheeliebins.

  2. Chair - Brentham Society says:

    There is now an update on progress on this campaign on our Home page – have a look!

  3. BEN REHMAN says:

    I completely agree with Jephiroth’s comments on the utility of wheelie bins. However, I think there is a wider point here.

    All council budget’s are surely stretched. There is opportunity cost in everything. And so if it’s a decision between either making a comparatively small change to refuse collection across the borough, or allowing the good policing and schools we currently enjoy in Ealing to deteriorate, then surely accepting wheelie bins is a sacrifice worth making.

    I do not, however, expect the Brentham Society to agree. My understanding of the original ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement is that there is fundamental thread of community based socialism and activism running through how we should deal with such matters and each other. Their interpretation seems to be based solely on a small-minded and dogmatic approach to architectural heritage, which has nothing to do with community, and everything to do with maintaining an enclave that wants to deny the existence of modernity.

    William Morris will be turning in his grave and I’m sure he wouldn’t sign this daft petition either.

    • Tony Sever says:

      On the contrary: William Morris would be siding wholeheartedly with Jennifer White’s rebuttal. Cutting black sack collections to once a fortnight has to be preferable to wheelie bins. Incidentally if for some reason you find vermin a problem, giving your black sack a quick spray with furniture polish should keep them away.

      • Ben Rehman says:

        I suppose it would depend which side of the argument William Morris came down on!
        I hadn’t appreciated that the plan was to go to fortnightly regardless of whether black bags or bins are adopted. So I take back the point about there being any real economic downside to this. Other than that I imagine wheelie bins are much easier and quicker for the refuse collectors, which theoretically at least should make the service more efficient.
        The concerns about hygiene and what anyone is supposed to do with two weeks worth of rubbish without a wheelie bin to keep it in remain. I wouldn’t anticipate widespread adoption of furniture spray as a solution. Perhaps the Brentham Society could develop a plan to encourage everyone to re-cycle more? Something I’m sure Mr Morris would have supported and a welcome break from an obsession with aesthetics.

  4. Alan H says:

    For those of you who haven’t already done so – please sign up to the Ealing Council on-line petition “Against Wheelie Bins” . You can find it here: http://ealing.cmis.uk.com/ealing/ePetitions/tabid/96/ID/18/Against-Wheelie-Bins.aspx

  5. Margaret Jones says:

    Margaret Jones

    Have the Councellors of Ealing walked around London with their eyes closed to only appreciate Wheelie bins is not the way to go as they degrade an area immensely. This breaks any code in the Brentham Garden Estate where planning is observed with great strength. The bins are just about the ugliest objects one could view in the street and more so from the comfort of our front rooms if they are housed in the front garden if there is space.

  6. Bettina Thwaite says:

    I do not live on the Brentham estate but on the Cleveland estate in flats off Kent Gardens. The fact is, our bin shed would not hold wheelie bins, it is too small. There is no other space available. I imagine other flats on our estate would say the same.

  7. Jephiroth says:

    It’s slightly unbelievable to me that there are quite so many- and vociferous- voices clamouring for the retention of black bin bags. Wheelie bins are more hygienic, more practical, more suited to the modern way of living- and the only argument I can see from the other side seems to be for purely aesthetic reasons. Which is odd, since the practice of leaving three or four black bins on the pavement each week seems to me messier, uglier and attracts more vermin.

    • Tudor says:

      I think we all agree that black bin bags are ugly, but they are only on view for a very small amount of time whilst waiting for the rubbish collection in the morning. What is the issue here is the large wheelie bins will be visible 24/7 from the front of peoples houses.

    • Jennifer White says:

      In response to Jephiroth’s points:
      1. “Wheelie bins are more hygienic” – only if they’re washed out regularly
      2. “more practical” – possibly not for elderly people. And what’s not practical about black bags?
      3. “more suited to the modern way of living” – not sure what that means…
      4. “only argument I can see from the other side seems to be for purely aesthetic reasons” – not the only argument but an extremely important one. They will be on view all the time, not just on collection days, and will not be in keeping with the overall look of the estate
      5.”since the practice of leaving three or four black bins on the pavement each week seems to me messier, uglier and attracts more vermin” – they should only be left out the night before or early morning of collection day so they don’t spend much time in view. Note: they should not be left on the pavement and there should be nothing in them which attracts vermin. Food goes in the food bin and any food wrappings should be rinsed out first. How come you have 3-4 bags each week? You’re not recycling enough! And from other comments it’s clear that many people only put out one bag every 2-3 weeks.

  8. bobbrowning says:

    My friends over in Southfields have the same issues. You might want to sign their petition, which applies to the whole of Ealing really.



  9. Peter Haisman says:

    Moving to bi-weekly collections is NOT an argument for the use of wheelie bins. Living in a mid-terrace house, our black sack is kept in a rubbish bin in the rear garden between collections and cannot be disturbed by foxes. Surely other residents do likewise? It is a simple matter to transfer the sack to the front on collection days. Keeping a wheelie bin in the rear garden and then transferring for collection is completely impractical.
    Keeping wheelie bins in the front gardens of a row of terraced houses would be unsightly and would significantly impair the visual amenity of our Conservation Area. The whole point of an Article 4 direction is to maintain the staus quo.
    Bassam, what on earth are you thinking of? Bassam, think again!

  10. Gillian Silvester says:

    I agree with most of what has been said. There is little room in the front gardens if you live in a terraced house and they are extremely unsightly for a Conservation Area which the Council should be trying to maintain or what is the point of having an Article 4 directive? The Council seem quite prepared to trumpet the delights of Brentham when it suits them but do very little to help preserve it. If you try to use your back garden for storage you then have to pull the wheelie bins out through narrow alleyways, very difficult and heavy for the elderly of whom there are many on the estate..

  11. Julia H says:

    While I appreciate the Council’s need to save money in the current climate, this is just not practical. I live mid-terrace and my front garden is laid to hedge / tree – there is no space for wheelie bins and to accommodate them I would need to dig up the garden – surely as we all struggle to conform with planning rules aimed at keeping the estate looking as it should, this will completely wipe out and benefit from controlling building changes. If the Council requires to scale back to collections every 2 weeks, then I would imagine many Brentham residents would be prepared to accommodate a dust bin in our back gardens so that we can keep rubbish over the collection free week, but please, don’t force us to have wheelie bins.

  12. Julia R. says:

    We are deeply opposed to the introduction of wheelie bins into this protected and charming conservation area. What is the point of conservation if the appearance of the area is to be ruined by unsightly bins, which we have managed without perfectly satisfactorily. Please nip this ill-judged idea in the bud!

  13. Richard Costella says:

    Pam Turner writes:

    Ealing is reputed to be the Queen of the Suburbs – not for much longer if all the front gardens are to be invaded by wheelie bins. I feel particularly affected by the proposals, living in a small terraced house on the Brentham Estate, a conservation area with protection from an article 4 directive, much loved and cared for by residents. I do not want bins in my front garden, nor do I want them at the back either. They are far too big and cumbersome to store in a shed or garage. Being well over 80, there is no way that I can trundle wheelie bins out at the back, down a narrow side alley and back to my front gate. From a residents point of view the present system works well. Why change?

  14. Maggie Bukowska says:

    No, No, No to Wheelie Bins!! Our current refuse bags are fine, you can fold them and store them away once they have bee emptied. How on earth can you disguise large and ugly Wheelie Bins – you cannot. I am fortunate to have a relatively large front garden, but Wheelie Bins would still be visible. I certainly am not going to re-design my small back garden to accommodate them. What is the Council thinking of. Fortnightly collections, okay if you must, but please please do not give us Wheelie Bins. I’ve lived at Brentham for nearly 30 years, we love it here, please do not spoil it!!

  15. Jurek Narozanski says:

    I am also opposed to the introduction of plastic wheelie bins and bi-weekly rubbish collections for all the reasons already eloquently stated below, i.e. no space in small front gardens, unsightly in a conservation area, smelly and unhygienic especially in hot weather, etc.

    In the 2008 Ealing Council consultation, the Brentham Estate voted heavily against the introduction of wheelie bins, and consequently the council accepted the continued use of bin sacks for household refuse. In the absence of a new consultation, in my view, none of the reasons that were accepted then have changed in 2015. Thus, there is no reason for the council to force wheelie bins onto Brentham residents against their previously stated wishes.

  16. Sheila Haddon says:

    I am totally opposed to the introduction of wheelie bins on the Brentham Estate. My house is centre terrace, so a bin would either have to be kept in the front garden or wheeled along the back alleyway to the front of the house. The first option would not work as there is no room in my small front garden – quite apart from the fact that it would be an eyesore – and the second would also be impractical as the alley is very narrow and the ground is uneven, so getting a bin through would be very difficult, particularly when it’s wet. Wheelie bins in gardens are also a security risk as they can be used by those with nefarious intent to help them climb over fences or up to windows. I wonder why the Council thinks bins are necessary for the introduction of fortnightly collections? Most people on the estate seem to use all the recycling facilities, so black sacks only contain items which can’t be recycled. There should be no need for wheelie bins here. We should make our views clear to Cllr Mahfouz.

  17. It is a visual breath of fresh air to walk around The Brentham Garden Estate. We choose to live in an area of great architectural character, the design of which is protected and conserved. As time goes by it gets richer the more it matures. OK, so our homes are mostly terraced with small front gardens. But we choose to live here. My front garden is created with love by my Wife. It compliments this unique area and has not been designed to accommodate a wheeliebin – and does not want one, thank you very much! The unique visual nature of our estate, with its small front gardens, does not support plastic wheeliebins. They do not go together and never will.

  18. Adel Golding says:

    One of the reasons we decided to buy in Brentham, sacrificing living space for a lovely community, was the tranquil village feel of the area and the lack of wheelie bins that unfortunately spoil the feel of many London streets. Enforcing a wheelie bin only option for any home, particularly in a conservation area, is not a constructive way forward. The obvious issues with storing them as mentioned by others, and it would also be a nuisance to keep clean, especially for the elderly and those with movement restrictions. Fortnightly collection also seems like a short term solution, that may instead result in other environmental issues, especially during hot summers. We desperately hope that wheelie bins will never be forced upon Brentham homes, or any home.

  19. Tom Gilmore says:

    I agree with all the comments that have already been made – particularly those concerning the detrimental visual impact and the potential for odorous rubbish to be raided and scattered by the ever growing, uncontrolled fox population. In addition I believe I am right (those who know more please comment) in saying that Ealing council have a legal obligation to administer and uphold the Article 4 Restriction that both preserves the Brentham for our enjoyment and frustrates us when we want to make modest changes to our homes. I have no doubt that should we all make a planning application to Ealing for a row of unsightly large plastic storage containers that would be in full view at the front of everyone’s house, it would rightfully be refused.

  20. Jan Goodwin says:

    I have just walked around my neighbouring streets and I just cannot see anywhere where these bins could be stored out of sight. I recycle most of my rubbish and rarely fill a black sack. for me to have this monstrosity in my front gardens would not only destroy the look of my house but it would rarely be used to it full capacity. Please please make the council see sense on this matter. I am more than happy for the collections of the black bags to go to a fortnightly collection as I only put out a bag on average once a month unless I am having a clear out.

  21. Eleanor Cowie says:

    I don’t need to put out a black sack every week, so I don’t personally mind the reduced frequency of collection, though I’m sure I would if I had a large family. I definitely don’t need a wheelie bin; in any case it would be an eyesore and there would be no room for it in my front garden.

  22. Tudor Davies says:

    It seems like the bigger question is are we OK with our bins being collected ever 2 weeks? I know that after 1 week things can get pretty smelly, and in the summer even worse. I think the whole thing is a bad idea, it will look terrible and change the whole feel of the streets. Being a conservation area we have to live by pretty strict rules about what we can and can’t do to the outside of our house, seems only correct that the council have to obey the same principles.

  23. Carole Fairclough says:

    I am against the use of wheelie bins as there would be no option but keeping the large wheelie bins in the front gardens which would be unsightly and spoil the look of the conservation area. As long as people only put their black bags out on the day of the collection (or the night before if collection too early for them) then the bi weekly collections would not be a reason to introduce wheelie bins. I am assuming that the wheelie bins will not be used for recycling/plastics/green waste in which case the larger bins are not necessary. I hope the council will re-consider.

  24. Clive E says:

    This is not a problem exclusive to the Brentham Estate, but to every terrace of houses with small front gardens. We might do well to team up with the Pitshanger Association and the Hanger Hill Estate to bring pressure on the Council.

  25. Jennifer White says:

    More thoughts: the only reason I can think of as to why the Council want us to use wheelie bins is because they are going to reduce the rubbish collection from weekly to fortnightly and they are concerned that black bags will be left out for longer and more likely to be torn apart by foxes etc. I am sure that householders would continue their current practice of not putting them out until the night before collection. Also, we are encouraged to recycle more but wheelie bins would have the opposite effect, be an added cost to the Council and take the bin men longer to collect – it’s much quicker to pick up a black bag.

  26. Marjorie Lohfink says:

    I am very much against wheelie bins on the Brentham Estate. There is little room for them in our front gardens and they are so unsightly. I have very little rubbish other than recycling so certainly don’t need a large bin. I hope the council will reconsider.

  27. Jennifer White says:

    I only put out a black sack every 3-4 weeks so I would definitely not be in favour of having a wheelie bin in my front garden when it’s hardly used. I already have a green box and a food waste bin at the front because there’s no room for them indoors. I do not want any more bins. If the Council insist we have them might there be a possibility of shared bins, perhaps close to the alley gates which would be far enough away from the pavements to discourage passers-by from using them? They would still look unsightly and because of their size out of proportion to the houses. They would definitely detract from overall impression of the estate. I say NO THANKS.

  28. I agree wheelie bins would be very insightly on the estate. As you say all the terraces will have to keep them in their front gardens and it would really spoil the view. Do they have them on Hampstead Garden suburb? If they do we should take some photos to show the impact. If they don’t then there is a precedent albeit in a different borough.Bassam is a reasonable councillor, I hope he will listen.

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