By Kaye Wiggins
Councillors clashed over wheelie bin cutbacks during a heated debate in the town hall.
The debate followed the council’s decision to halve the size of wheelie bins across Lambeth and force households to share bins with their neighbours, a move designed to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.
The Liberal Democrat councillor Christine Barratt said the change left many residents with “no option but to leave binbags on the pavement for the foxes to rip them open.”
She said it was particularly tough for households with babies and young children because the shortage of space made it difficult to get rid of nappies.
Ashley Lumsden, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, described the policy as “a complete shambles, with many residents left without bins resulting in rubbish being strewn across streets.”
However, Labour councillor Imogen Walker said only 2% of residents had asked for information about how to get their bigger bin back. Of these, she said, “most didn’t need one and opportunities for recycling were discussed with them.”
She said the change would save over £2m per year and had been a major success, with recycling rates up 36%. Residents were changing their behaviour to adapt to the smaller bins, she added.