Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington today was joined by Councillor Jill Whitehead and Amna Ahmad, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Sutton & Cheam, in a meeting with Scott Edgell, General Manager at Veolia Environmental Services UK, to discuss issues residents have had with the new waste collection service.
In a productive meeting, Veolia confirmed that residents requiring further green recycling boxes can order them online via the Council website. This is how residents will receive extra boxes. There will be no other collection events like that held at B&Q.
It was confirmed that residents who have two green wheelie bins can continue to use both, one for card/paper and one for plastics/cans/glass, so long as both are clearly marked.
Veolia’s general manager also reminded residents that garden waste will be collected at the same time as brown bins and that residents who have not received their garden waste bin will do soon. Residents will only start paying for this service once they receive their bins.
Finally, it was confirmed that assisted collections remain available to any residents who need them. Veolia have also asked residents to bring forward any complaints of rude drivers, and have employed an additional 4 staff members to help explain to residents how the recycling scheme works and the new service.
Speaking after the meeting, Tom said:
“Veolia has apologised for the poor first week's service and have provided answers to a number of residents’ questions about the new collection service. I know many are frustrated about how the first week has gone, and I share that frustration. Veolia have given assurances that the collections will improve and they will provide the level of service that residents deserve. I intend to hold them to their word.
“We have already seen increases in recycling as a result of this scheme and I am confident that, once these teething issues are resolved, the scheme will be good for Council taxpayers, good for Sutton, and good for the environment.”
Councillor Jill Whitehead said:
“Sutton has a good record for high-quality services, and we are asking Veolia to provide services which will meet residents' expectations. We are sorry that Veolia's first week did not meet our high standards but we have been assured that teething troubles are being ironed out and that improvements are being made. As a Green council, we are striving to achieve a high level of recycling, and already recycling performance has increased especially with the take-up of the new food waste collection service.
“The new service will save £10.3m for the Sutton taxpayer, as well as introduce new recycling services. We expect the new arrangements will settle down in the near future, but helpful advice can be found on www.sutton.gov.uk/recyling.”
Amna Ahmad, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Sutton & Cheam, said:
"On behalf of residents, like me, I was glad to hear an apology from Veolia in person this morning. I share the frustration of those who have experienced problems and it was good to hear that Veolia is working over the Easter weekend and beyond to sort out these teething problems. Veolia has assured us that the service will improve and I will stand up for residents to make sure this happens. It is also important to clear up any misinformation so that we can move forward and sort this out. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are taking action and helping residents, as we always do."