Recycling rubbish as waste is mixed up in Dagenham refuse trucks

Recycling rates in Barking and Dagenham are low

Recycling rates in Barking and Dagenham are low - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Diligent householders are separating their rubbish only to have it all mixed up again, according to one disgruntled recycler.

Mark Whitten, of Clementhorpe Road, Dagenham, says he’s watched council refuse workers repeatedly empty his green and black bins into the same truck for the past eight or nine months.

“They are coming round and putting everything in the same wagon,” he explained.

“I just think: If it’s happening in my street, where else in the borough is it happening?”

Mark said two different refuse trucks had collected his domestic and recycling bins separately in the past, but that this was no longer the case.


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And despite him lodging a complaint months ago, the practice has continued.

“It’s getting to the point where I think if I need to throw something [recyclable] away I might as well put it in the black bin, because it’s all going to go the same way anyway,” Mark, 50, said.

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“The more we can recycle, the less that goes to landfill but the borough can’t be bothered to do it right.”

Mark was prompted to speak out about his rubbish problem after reading the Post report last month on the recycling rates in the borough, which were recently found to be the seventh worst in the capital.

Just 24.8 per cent of household waste was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2013/14, with the rest sent into landfill.

“I think a lot of people round our way do recycle and do make the effort,” Mark said.

“Barking and Dagenahm always seems to be the lowest of the low for everything.

“It does make me feel quite despondent because the people that are telling you to do it are not doing what they are supposed to do.”

In a statement, a Barking and Dagenham Council said: “The Council has separate collections for our brown, green and grey bin waste. “However, for some rounds we experience access problems, normally in heavily parked and narrow locations. For this reason we have a single small track vehicle that we send in when normal collection arrangements cannot otherwise be collected. We have only one vehicle and so this vehicle will be used to clear all waste. Fortunately only a few roads present this problem and the arrangements in place for all waste allows for the effective recovery of most recyclable materials.

“One of the options we have put in place for some of the roads where parking is a problem is to install parking restrictions. We will now look to see if this location is one where this would be the better option.”

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