Barge workers kick up a stink over bizarre plan to cut litter along Regent’s Canal by REMOVING bins

PUBLISHED: 16:44 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 22 June 2017

A bin on the towpath in Hackney Wick was removed as part of a plan to cut littering. Picture: NBTA

A bin on the towpath in Hackney Wick was removed as part of a plan to cut littering. Picture: NBTA


A bizarre plan to reduce littering along the Regent’s Canal has seen barge workers kick up a stink – because it involves removing bins.

An overflowing bin on a towpath in Camden. The Canal and Rivers Trust are removing bins along canals and waterways in a move to cut littering. An overflowing bin on a towpath in Camden. The Canal and Rivers Trust are removing bins along canals and waterways in a move to cut littering.

The Canal and River Trust’s plan to remove 40 per cent of bins from towpaths was revealed in a meeting between the body and the London branch of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA).

But CRT’s experiment – which will see bins returned if their removal doesn’t decrease littering – has been criticised by the barge workers’ group.

NBTA deputy chair Marcus Trower said: “When they told us I thought they were joking.

“To store them and put them back if it doesn’t work sounds like a dance routine with bins.

“This plan must be in the CRT’s top 10 list of bad ideas. If the public have nowhere to put their litter, it will be thrown on the ground and get into the water. I hope there’s a serious rethink.”

The CRT manages 80pc of waterways, including the canal.

Mr Trower has urged it to share evidence to support its plan. And he wants it to consider emptying the bins more rather than removing them altogether.

“When questioned about the frequency at which bins are emptied, CRT’s vague response stated ‘some daily, some weekly, some depend on season’.

“This is simply not good enough – perhaps they should have a clear policy on emptying bins before they start removing them,” he said.

A CRT spokesman said: “A number of litter bins were being mistreated and used by people to fly-tip and leave bulk waste.

“This means the bins in question were overflowing more quickly than we could empty them. They looked unsightly.

“We’ve not removed any of the waste sites where boaters can leave domestic rubbish. We’re hoping to improve the facilities we offer to boaters.

“People walking along the towpath will have to carry their litter a little further to put it in a bin, or maybe even take it home – as they would when visiting the countryside.

“We’re sorry if this causes a small inconvenience for anyone, but it’s important we provide a service we can maintain, [that] isn’t abused.”


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