Camden Conservatives have promised to restore weekly bin collections for Camden residents and put a final nail in the Labour-run council’s controversial cut to collecting just once to fortnight.
The reduction in Camden’s bin collections last April caused a big rise in vermin, with Camden having the third-most rat infestations of any local authority: 3 times as many as Conservative-run Westminster, where rubbish is collected twice a week or more.
While Hampstead, Belsize, and Swiss Cottage saw collections cut, areas south of Camden Town did not, sparking accusations that the divide was politically-motivated.
Conservatives opposed the cuts to bin collections, which saved just one-thousandth of Camden’s budget. However, Labour voted through the cuts, with Camden Lib Dems saying they ‘backed the strategy’.
Although Labour claimed that cutting collections would raise recycling, barely a quarter of Camden’s household waste has been recycled since the change: 20% less than in 2010, when Conservatives ran the service and bins were collected twice a week.
The 2014 manifesto that Labour were elected on promised to maintain weekly bin collections for all residents and increase recycling rates, but the opposite has happened: collections have been cut and recycling reduced.
The Conservatives have also pledged to reverse another of Labour’s broken manifesto promises on waste by ending the £75 Garden Tax on collecting green waste. This has been paid by far fewer residents than forecast, meaning it barely raises any money.
The Conservatives plan to boost recycling by giving residents better information about what can be recycled, makinng residents more aware of Camden’s large item collection service, installing more public recycling bins, making it easier to recycle on estates, and extending the opening hours at Regis Road recycling centre.
But it’s clear that cutting bin collections has had the opposite of the intended effect, with our streets dirtier and recycling falling, and that restoring weekly collections is the only way to clean up Camden.