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Rubbish in Islington’s streets builds up as thousands of bin collections are missed

17:38 04 January 2013

The bins on Mr Mackenzie

The bins on Mr Mackenzie's road

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An average of 1,000 bin collections are missed in Islington every month, leading to accusations of rubbish piling up in the streets.

Figures released by Islington Council show that from July to September 3,000 loads of garbage were left uncollected – 67 per cent above the target – leading to irate residents hounding the council on Twitter.

But town hall insists it is doing a fine job and the neglected bins are a tiny fraction of the enormous number they have to deal with.

Alan Mackenzie, 53, who lives in Richmond Grove, Islington, said his bins weren’t emptied for the whole of Christmas, leading to wild animals running around in the detritus.

He said: “The bins were really bad over the holidays. We had to put rubbish in our garden and that worries you because of the vermin it brings, like rats.

“The foxes used to be scared of you but they don’t care now, they’re rummaging around.

“We had three collections missed and I called the council three times but got nothing back. The worst part is the refuse department doesn’t take calls, so you never know what’s going on.”

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the opposition Lib Dem group, said: “These figures are truly appalling. Labour councillors should be hanging their heads in shame that they cannot even get the basics right in Islington.

“Collecting the rubbish regularly is one of the main services that all residents notice and rely on. No wonder our streets are getting dirtier.

“To have rubbish piled up outside homes for weeks in some cases shows something has gone seriously wrong with the way this contract is being managed.”

In September, the number of missed collection peaked at a bin bag-busting 1,411 and the council document blames staff reductions.

But on Twitter, those with rotting rubbish gathering outside their homes vented their anger.

One said: “[The] fifth week in a row our recycling has not been collected. So much for ‘monitoring it’ and it ‘not happening again’ Please explain.”

Another said: “Another week, another missed recycling collection. Our recycling [is] getting wet – day two. When will you make collections compulsory?”

Cllr Paul Smith, “Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Islington Council makes more than 600,000 household waste and recycling collections per month, and over 99.5 per cent have been collected on time, a great performance given Islington is unfairly in the top 10 for government cuts.

“We are sorry that a very small percentage of residents have had a missed collection resulting from the introduction of new rounds that enable us to do more with less, but we will be doing better than 99.5 per cent in the future.”

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