"Outcry" over fortnightly rubbish collection in Stamford Hill
- Credit: JCC
Jewish residents living in Stamford Hill say trash is piling up in driveways after Hackney council made a switch to fortnightly waste collections.
On March 1, the council introduced fortnightly waste collections for some homes in Hackney in a bid to encourage recycling.
Food waste and recycling collections, however, have remained weekly and estates or blocks of flats are not affected by the change.
However, some Jewish Stamford Hill residents are upset at the policy, saying it does not accommodate for the needs of large families with up to 10 members.
In a video created by a group called Blue Studies, a woman whose identity has been concealed says: "I speak to many people and nobody agrees to having the rubbish collected every two weeks, it has to be revised."
Hackney Rabbi Levi Schapiro, who founded the Jewish Community Council (JCC), told the Gazette that the change of waste collection policy is not working in the Jewish community.
"It's obviously a very large community with very large families and the community needs weekly collections so it's something which is causing a huge issue in the community," he said.
"There is a big outcry about this policy change. and the community wants weekly collections to come back."
He continued: "The rubbish spilling over onto the roads, the foxes and mice and rats all over the place - its looking really bad."
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Cllr Simche Steinberger also weighed in on the switch in the Blue Studies video, which ended with the message that Hackney is becoming a dumpster.
He said Fairholt Road, where the video was filmed, is an example of a wider issue seen across Stamford Hill. He said: "They have not come to collect the rubbish they say for two weeks, it looks like eight weeks."
The councillor spoke about a consultation which the council conducted in autumn 2019 asking local people what they thought about the waste collection proposals.
Almost 11,000 people responded to the consultation, representing around 25 per cent of people affected.
While 39pc of respondents supported the proposals 52 per cent did not - concerned predominantly on smell and health, vermin and overflowing bins.
The majority of residents (88pc) thought the council should encourage residents to recycle more.
Cllr Steinberger added: "When you tell [the council] there are families of ten people they don't even know that such things exist.
"So surely how can they know what our rubbish needs are. You have to get this rubbish back to the way it was. It should be collected every week.
"This is a disgrace. This is an absolute shamble."
Later adding: "Stop making this look like a zoo of foxes and rats fighting for the food. This is not asking for any luxury this is a necessity."
In response, John Wheatley, director of sustainability and environmental services said the council does have a large family policy in place and additional bins are provided when residents apply for them and meet certain requirements.
He explained how residents in Fairholt Road have been allowed to keep their existing bins and they have also been provided with additional capacity in the form of a 180L wheeled bin for residual waste.
Residents in surrounding streets have also been allowed to retain their existing bins, as it is accepted that, "in the short term", large households need the additional capacity.
He said: "Like the 83pc of local authorities in the country that have already implemented fortnightly waste collections, we're doing so because it's proven to increase recycling rates.
"So people have as much opportunity to recycle as possible, we're keeping food waste and green sack recycling collections weekly.
"Large families and families with babies can apply for a bigger bin as part of the changes."
Mr Wheatley said in six weeks the council is already seeing increases in the amount of recycling and food waste, adding: "We would like to thank residents for adapting to the service change so well.
"By all doing our bit, we can reduce the amount of waste Hackney sends for incineration, increase recycling and tackle the climate emergency."
Meanwhile, JCC is working with the community to help increase recycling levels.
Is your area blighted by waste, overfilled bins or fly-tipping? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures and your views.