Streetwise Streetwatchers Gather to Exchange Notes

Council reports on new rubbish collections and other matters

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Ealing Council collected fifteen tons of plastic in the first week of its door-to-door plastic collection – ten tons of it by the first Wednesday of the new service. According to the leader of the council, Jason Stacey, who spoke to Ealing’s streetwatchers at their annual meeting on Saturday morning, that was very much more than they were expecting and goes some way to explain some of the teething troubles residents have reported on this site and elsewhere.

Mr Stacey said he reckoned some residents must have been saving up their plastic for weeks, waiting for the collections to start. He said that he didn’t think the system was broken, or even seriously flawed but that refuse teams facing a combination of changes to their routine and a mountain of plastic, had had some problems sticking to their timetable – running hours late in some instances. By then some residents had given up and taken their plastics inside again.

He added that he had read the ActonW3 forum thread on the subject but had restrained himself from replying too early. Apparently there were fewer problems in the second week and he is hoping for a decrease in justified complaints before Xmas changes throw the next spanner in the works.


More than seventy streetwatchers – volunteer local residents who report envirocrimes such as graffiti, fly-tipping and illegal training – gathered to discuss how the scheme had grown in the last couple of years. They also met the junior streetwatchers: children from four local primary and junior schools who are learning how to help our local environment and to be briefed on current issues on the patch. 


Many streetwatchers were particularly interested in the presentation on Houses in Multiple Occupation. There was lots of scribbled note-taking as Robert MacPhail explained that all houses of two or more storeys with three or more unrelated tenants now have to be licensed, as do self–contained flats with similar tenancies. Landlords breaching the licensing requirement can be fined up to £20,000, can lose control of their property and may even have to reimburse their tenants back-dated to the time they moved in. Quite an incentive for compliance - if enforcement is known to be vigorous!

Sara Nathan



December 3, 2007