Litter

In recent weeks, we've been looped in to a few emails to the Council from Brockley residents disgusted by litter, particularly around Brockley Station. On Monday lunchtime, we sat outside the Broca, looking out for plastic bags rolling past like tumbleweed. But we couldn't really see any problem.

The dumping of free newspapers outside the station is a specific problem, which the Council have taken steps to remedy by adding more and more recycling bins, but they are fighting a losing battle against a rising tide. This is a London-wide problem and there is a campaign to make publishers more responsible for the waste they are generating. It's called Project Freesheet. We think that issue should be treated seperately from the wider question of street litter.

Brockley has its unloved areas and flytipping sites, like virtually any part of London outside Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea and it's right not to ignore the problems. Brockley Road is a mess, but that's more to do with the state of the shops, the street furniture and the pavement than the litter - although admittedly, it can be a problem, with fried chicken boxes a particular blight. But, by London standards, we think Brockley's pretty good, certainly around the Brockley and Telegraph Hill Conservation Areas and Crofton Park station. It's also blessed with relatively few dog lovers, which means that there is far less dog muck on the streets than we became accustomed to in Greenwich and Charlton.

What do you think of the problem and where are the worst sites?

18 comments:

Bea said...

In general I think the litter collection in Brockley is good. Every morning on the way to work I pass a number of men in yellow coats sweeping the pavements and two around the station area. But … by the time I get off the train in the evening the little flower patch is invariably covered in litter again.

With regard to rubbish collection in general, my first big gripe is that people leave their bins all week on the pavement on the street where I live – the reason being that the street climbs steeply and the gardens are approached up three or four steps. It’s OK for younger people as they can bump their bins down the steps on litter collection days but not everyone is able bodied – and it would seem there are a number on my road who either can’t or won’t lug their bins up and down the steps every week! Not sure what the cure is but it sure does annoy me having to dodge them as I run for the train.

My next bug bear is with the council and their recycle bins policy. In spring this year I called the council to request a large green wheelie bin and was told it would arrive in a couple of months but nothing did. Then at the Hilly Fields summer fete there was a council stand handing out leaflets about their recycling policy – so I requested a bin again. Now it’s nearly October and still no green wheelie bin (and my small green box is overflowing). This makes me believe the council are about to spring on us a new rubbish collection policy (i.e. micro chipped bins) and are waiting before handing out the new ones (or maybe I’m a touch paranoid … could just be super inefficiency).

Headhunter said...

Can't say I've been patricularly bothered by litter in Brockley apart from the tyres! Has anyone noticed the general dumping of car tyres? I spot them randomly all over the conservation area (where I live) occasionally single, sometimes in piles of 2 or 3. Are one or several of the many garages/car orientated business dumping these tyres liberally across the area? That's my guess.

Hugh said...

If you ever want a free sofa, or armchair without its original matching sofa, people on Lewisham Way are very generous and tend to leave one or two out.

ElijahBailey said...

I leave my bin on the street all week. Considering that that all the bushes are overgrown I would say the top spot for 'Thing Most Likely To Get Your Way' is heavilly competed for.

But yeah if you are on the street I think you are on there it does look a wee bit of a mess in places.

Microchipped bins will never, ever work, and are a recipe for massive disharmoney between neighbours.

Big green wheelie bins would be nice.

Kate said...

There is intermittently a problem with litter outside my house. From what I can gather it's down to people in the flats opposite leaving bags of rubbish in the open-top bin outside on the street, which then gets raided by foxes at night and the litter strewn everywhere.

I have emailed the council when this has happened, to complain and ask them to be proactive and instal a bin with a lid, eg. flip-top, to prevent it continuing to happen. To which I got the reply that this wasn't possible as all the street bins in Lewisham have to be of the same design. Which I think is a pretty poor response really.

Other than that, I haven't got too much of a gripe about litter in general. Hilly Fields is always nice and tidy, which is very good.

lisa said...

I've found the council fairly responsive to most fly tipping; the problem is the mews that run parallel to the long streets in the conservation area. EG wickham mews between manor ave and wicham ave. I think these spaces are so underutilised - they look awful for the most part, but have a ton of potential. Apparently they fall outside the council's responsibility because they are 'private ways' (hence flytip heaven). Should we be doing something oursevles?

Hugh said...

Separate point but who owns the garages currently boarded up at the south end of Manor Avenue? I wouldn't mind buying the lot and making a stash by renting them out to locals.

monkeyboy said...

Hugh, I worry about your clients - you're on here too much. I hope you don't surf this on your laptop when one of them is about to go down for 20 years.

Hugh said...

On gardening leave at the moment, old man, with some more time off before joining the opposition. Rather fun surfing while others are sent down. Not that I'm in that line of work, as it happens.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

A couple of points from this...not really to do with litter!

Bea - send me a note to cllr_dean.walton@lewisham.gov.uk and I'll see if I can find out why you've not been given a big green big yet.

Hugh - garages at southern end of Manor Avenue - if it's the ones between 72-82 Geoffrey Road a planning application has been submitted for these (housing I think) and a public meeting is planned - again send me a note if need more details - Dean

Monkeyboy said...

Hugh, thought you were a lawyer. God don't tell me you work in the 'meedja'!

Brockley Nick said...

I assume hugh means he is a corporate lawyer

Hugh said...

Nick has it. Bet I'm not alone.

spincat said...

In the old days there was lots of litter in Brockley and we didn't complain

Hugh said...

That was 'real' litter, though, not the inauthentic stuff you get once city workers start moving in, inflating house prices and complaining their ciabatta isn't certified dolphin-friendly.

Andy Pandy Pudding & Pie said...

I actually think that the Lewisham council is dodging the responsiblity over litter.

Did you know for instance, that road sweeping is now out-sourced to a contractor and that the contractor is only required in their contract with lewisham to collect a proportion of the rubbish that build up?

If there is a piece of rubbish on the street - no matter how inconvienent, or hazardous to the public, the contractor is NOT required to pick it up if it's over a certain size (each road sweeper is 'supposed' to carry a measuring device, if it doesnt fit through a certain size hole then they dont need to pick it up!).

The implications of this is that our streets will never 'improve' beyond what the council deem to be acceptable in their contract. If you complain about something not being done (like i did with respect to broken glass on my street) you get told its the contractors responsiblity and as long as they are in accordance with their contract theres nothing they can do!- So much for local governance!

On a seperate note, it is also the case that road sweepers have to patrol every road over a certain time frame depending upon a set criteria used to measure the need. What tends to happen is that the contractor patrols the road and they can - if they choose - ignore alot of the rubbish as once they have left the street there is no way to monitor whether or not the rubbish was left on the street before the contractor arrived or after. This has also happened in my case, and the council insist that it is up to the contractor themselves to measure each employee's performance and in this case they have not broken their contract with the council.

So brockley residents - if you see anything not quite right - COMPLAIN & HOPEFULLY SOMETHING CAN BE DONE

Hugh - Ever through about becoming a council representative? I think they need some good lawyers to become an effective council again! :o(

and dont get me started on lewisham planning - ive seen buildings go up without even the planning application reviewed and the council turn a blind eye....

Hugh said...

Andy, that's an interesting question. No.

Bea said...

Dean - just wanted to say a big thanks for your assistance. I was delighted to find a green bin outside the house when I got home last night.

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