Specifically how to improve Brockley Cross

While the Brockley Cross Action Group has been capturing people's ideas for a shiny, happy future for Brockley Cross, reader Simon has been dutifully documenting an immediate and pressing problem: local food businesses relying on one small public bin (or in the case of many of their customers, the pavement) to dispose of food waste.


Each evening, large amounts of food are deposited in the bin and each morning, Simon (and lots of other people, including BC) trudges through piles of bones, cartons and plastic bags, strewn about by foxes and seagulls, who've sussed that it is the gift that keeps giving.

Two different days, same scene. We could go on...

The street cleaners do an admirable job, but it's a sysiphean task and they can't respond quickly enough for morning traffic. The rubbish contributes to a sense of decay and makes it more likely that people will treat the street as a dumping ground. We need a smarter solution, with better, more secure bins in Brockley Cross.

35 comments:

BrockleyKate said...

Surely these businesses should have industrial waste bins stored round the back, in the mews?
I'm sure that the Orchard has its bins in the mews.
And yes, this is a regular and longstanding problem. It also encourages flytipping, especially on the corners with Harefield Rd (lots of flytipping by the recycling bins and clothes bank) and Cranfield Rd (regular flytipping outside the junk shop).

SamB_UK said...

I remember taking a photo of this back when we did the Mass Observation project - this photo was taken at 6am or so.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_U8WI9Kgjpb4/TGUWNz7DXAI/AAAAAAAAABg/gznHR7V-NOI/s1600/P1010080.JPG

In that photo, the bin isn't really even that full, and you can see the bag is ripped - I'd say that foxes had been at it, so that's definitely a problem. As Kate says, surely these businesses should all have their own waste disposal facilities?

mb said...

The Polish chap does an admerable job, not sure it's strictly speaking in the job description but he always sorts it.

It's a combination of the owners but also the council. If they are going to alow them to trade they should provide the facilities. Big blue containers don't look great but has to be better than the crap.

Mind you, the pavement has a waterproof layer of gunk now. I understand NASA are interested.

Molewife said...

In Margate they have seagull-proof heavy duty reusable bags for you to put your bin bags in. Maybe that is a good solution?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes food businesses should have adequate refuse provision in the same way that van hire businesses should have adequate off street parking.

In this case, it may be that the Council has advised businesses to leave refuse sacks out for regular collection and it is bad policy. I have asked the Council to comment on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Something new to moan about other than the vans, the CBT is working!!

Fattyfatty said...

The people you see hanging around Brockley X are not the kind to use bins in my opinion - some look like complete and utter mongs. And I am afraid you cant change the people so this place isn't ever going to look good.

mb said...

it's not litter though is it? it's waste from the take aways that the the Fantastic Mr Fox get stuck into. No eason why the litter should be any worse than any where else otherwise. Also a similar issue at the bins under the brdge.

Headhunter said...

Fattyfatty - that's a hugely deafeatist attitude... I remember that Nick posted a comment on here a while ago that found that the main reason that places like Blackheath and Greenwich have better cared for main streets is because residents hassle the council, form community groups and demand they do something, whereas residents of areas like Brockley, New Cross and Catford are more likely to accept that their high streets look crap with a shrug and tell themselves that the area is sh!t and always will be sh!t.... It's essentially a self fulfilling attitude, if no one actually demands more then nothing gets done...

Fattyfatty said...

@Headhunter - wishful thinking on your part I fear. The reason I don't think Brockley Cross is comparable with improvements in Blackheath or Greenwich is because the people on the streets of Greenwich and Blackheath could not be more different from the degenerates which I see loitering around Brockley Cross when I drive past it. I can just imagine that even if the Council did provide nice new bins, trees and paving, the many weirdos hanging around would still throw their fast food boxes on the street, let their staffies pee on the trees and use the new paving for spitting practice. To coin a phrase, the 'feral underclass' which seems to me to be flourishing in that area aint going to change its ways if the Council spends a few quid to soften the streetscape and in fact as their numbers will be on the rise once this new rehab centre thingy opens, I cant see the place ever appealing. However I would be very very happy to be proven wrong, so we will see.

Brockley Nick said...

@Fatty - you do the people who hang out in Brockley Cross a disservice. Most customers are perfectly nice, normal people.

The worst litterers in my experience are the people who hang out in their cars, double parked or hopped up on the pavement, who just chuck their finished meals out the window before driving off.

Fix the environment, people will respond. Make refuse fox-proof and see instant results.

Anonymous said...

@Fattyfatty - Well you best stay in your carriage and carry onto your mighty Kingdom my liege. Please keep us as up to date with your wise and forever helping words though to carry us through our pitiful lives.

Fattyfatty said...

@Anon 15:26 - Sorry have you a different opinion of Brockley X? If so please share, rather than posting anonymous weird posts with no points. Or do you just try to rubbish everyone whose opinion you dont agree with?

Anonymous said...

One of the main causes is foxes, so the bins need lids or covers of some kind. Also the bin outside Tickle Me seems to be used as a commercial bin and is often overflowing with rubbish of various kinds and leaking fat or some sort of oil making the surrounding pavement greasy and unpleasant to walk on. It is just totally inadequate. There seems little point in redoing the pavement just to have it trashed with litter. Also there are commercial bins, without lids, at the bottom of Upper Brockley Road [by the side of Londis] these are continual targets for our furry friends who are able to access them easily and strew the contents around the area.

Anonymous said...

This is a problem typical of Brockley and any other area where local authorities get away with a collective blindspot.
It's true as a previous comment emphasised - where there are no complaints there is no action.
Commercial waste is the responsibility of those producing it to dispose of it in an appropriate mannner -it is the responsibility of the local authority to ensure this happens. In Brockley it's not only the takeaways at Brockley cross that are a problem but also the garage on the corner of Upper Brockley and Geoffrey roads which often has commercial waste and oil of sorts spilling onto the pavement.
Let's put more pressure on our local authority to clean up Brockley

Lou Baker said...

Fatty has a point.

Litter doesn't drop itself. If I have litter - and the bin is full - I take it to the next bin. If that is full I take it to the bin after that. And so on until I take it home.

Mongs drop it on the street.

Absolutely - there should be more bins.

But the main problem is, as always, the people.

Mb said...

The takeaways leave plastic bags full of food waste outside, the foxes go bagel crazy. Yes it's the people dropping stuff but the crap is particularly bad there compared to just round the corner, get some proper bins.

Anonymous said...

I've seen some of the mung bean shops and afficionados doing this too you know...

Welcome to 2011 said...

No you haven't. You can make up stories about how middle class people are all hypocrites who complain about other people litter while dropping their own if it makes you feel better about your life, but that doesn't make it true.

monkeyboy said...

I'm not sure foxes have a view on the type of establishment that creates the waste. A thin plastic bag full of meaty goodness in an accesable location is the only criteria, they're very egalitarian like that.

Anonymous said...

Similar problem on Brockley Road as the bin that used to exist next to the traffic light has not been replaced after the re-paving. Who should be ask for a solution?

Anonymous said...

The intruder that the fire-brigade took off my roof at 10pm last night on Geoffrey Road went into the aforementioned take-away without a care in the world. Attempted robbery is hungry work.. his mates then duly littered before going on their way. Lou's right - its the people. I have to call the police at least once a week for stuff going on where this photo is taken.. but having said which I still believe the improvements will help

Guns don't kill people, people do... said...

Well obviously it's the people (but mostly foxes) litter doesn't spread itself. Proper facilities to store comercial waste from a food outlet is a minimum requirement.

Anonymous said...

well obviously it's the foxes (but mostly the people)?

David Attenborough said...

I walk past the bags first thing in the morning. They are ripped open and there is s**t all over the place. I doubt the yobs are deciding to eat refuse, it's foxes and possibly cats. People do litter of course but the photo's at that location is foxy in nature. The problem there is significantly worse than other locations not 200m away whos take-aways dispose of waste properly. The several bags of food waste are an obvious foxes banquet.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that there are no responses here from the great and the good at Lewisham council!-despite being invited to comment on twitter ! If they are not reading this then why not and if they are then why no comment?

Brockley Nick said...

To be fair, they replied today to my request and said they would answer shortly with some thoughts on what can be done. I will run a follow-up story when they respond.

Nigel Tyrell said...

Our staff are currently checking whether businesses in this area have appropriate trade waste agreements. If we need to take enforcement action, or adjust our collection services then we will. I'll be able to give you a fuller update, hopefully at the end of this week. Best Wishes, Nigel Tyrell. Head of Environment. LB Lewisham

Mb said...

Nigel, whatever you do give that polish cleaner a pat on the back. He cleans up the mess thoroughly every morning, I'm sure its not supposed to be his job.

Nigel Tyrell said...

mb, I will pass your comments on to our street sweeper. Businesses are required to have a trade waste agreement, but they don't need to use our service. (We use purple bags for our trade waste customers, where they don't have bins, btw). Some try to avoid paying anyone to collect their waste and put it in or around litter bins. We've made a few changes to our enforcement team to try and keep on top of businesses who want to dodge paying for their waste to be collected. It can time a while though to pursue these people through the legal process. I'll make sure we get the part of the pavement washed-down though. All the best,
Nigel.

Mb said...

Thanks, whether or not they are paying the appropriate fee (I suspect not) the bags are no barrier to a motivated fox! needs something more substantial.

Nigel Tyrell said...

Our bags are only supposed to be put out for a timed collection (1-2 hour slots). I don't think this problem is being caused by our trade waste bags not being collected when they should, I suspect they're coming from traders who don't have any waste collection arrangements. That's what our enforcement people are trying to establish. We should be able to resolve this problem. I'll post an update later in the week. Thanks for your patience.
All the best,
Nigel

Mb said...

Yes, they look like normal rubbish bags stacked against the rubbish bin. It's the foxes I worry about, they must be fat bas***ds by now.

Nigel Tyrell said...

Update, as promised:

Members of our enforcement team have now made several visits to the area looking at the refuse disposal, including the trade waste arrangements. They have also spoken to the business’ about their customers dropping litter.

Officers were really pleased to find that a large majority of business’ have trade waste arrangements They have found a few business’ which don’t and they have been warned.
So far we are pleased to confirm that one of the business’ has subsequently arranged for a trade waste contract.
Further visits will be ongoing to make sure all the traders get rid of their waste in the proper way. If the traders continue to trade without any contract then enforcement action is the next step.
Our Cleansing Team have jet-washed the pavements around the litter bins. The Cleansing Team will also continue to monitor over the weekend and see if an initial improvement has been made following the visits.

Best Wishes.
Nigel Tyrell. Head of Environment. LB Lewisham.

Ian on the Hill said...

Still as bad, and I've seen the staff at Lion chicken dumping food and waste by the litter bin (unbagged) twice this week.

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