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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Has anyone else had their recycling bins labelled by the recycling contractors as containing items not recyclable? A nicely printed label adorns at least six or eight bins along our road and we are stuck to know what we did wrong. All our rubbish is the same as the usual stuff (carefully washed) which is normally collected without a problem. It's hard to guess which item might be offending. I've called Veolia twice. It leaves everyone frustrated with a system that is not working and doesn't encourage anyone to take care. It can stay there and rot (slowly and without smell since we've washed everything) if they can't tell us what is preventing them from emptying the bin. New stuff can go into black bags in future.

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Items below that people think you can recycle but can't ... maybe one of these?

bubble wrap/cling film


tin foil that is not clean

glass from mirrors or windows

kitchen towels or wipes that are dirty


pizza boxes if dirty or greasy

We had issues because our green bin was quite full and the lid wasn't closed properly. After complaining about non collection and asking for a second bin we had a visit from a rep telling us we should not put anything into bags inside the bin (awkward when carrying small stuff out) , gave a list of what should go in etc... this week the bin was emptied but second bin has not come.  I think they are cracking down on the 'rules' (which are confusing) because they have now left both our neigbours' bins uncollected because they are so full.

Our black bins were neglected one week and both were full, so that involved two weeks of several e-mails from us and pointless apologies until the person in charge contacted the  Veolia contractor and finally action was taken

I presumed mine wasn't emptied because I had my recycling in black bin liners. The thing is, for a month last year I made sure nothing in the recycling bin was in binliners and during that whole month Veolia refused to empty the bin even though I met the criteria set by the council. So, I went back to leaving everything in liners and until this week there didn't seem to be a problem. The binmen seem to like things in bags as they can just pluck the bags out and throw them in the truck - as I have seen them doing - rather than wasting time loading the bin onto the truck.
So sod them. If they don't take my recycling next week even though I pay a mortgage worth of council tax every year for them to do so, then I'm with you Melvyn: it can stay there or I'll just throw the lot in the refuge bin!

Hi. We never do put things into bags in the green bin . Also why do we need to play a kind of guessing game? It turns the whole thing into a farce. 

Green-top bin mixed contents as collected by the recycling truck are mechanically sorted at the recycling plant into glass, paper/card, plastics, metals. If any of the bin contents are bagged (bags of any size or type, even the thin kitchen caddy bags) that sorting can't happen - the bin contents must be loose.

That could be why bins are bounced even if the contents themselves are OK - it might be how they're presented?

Agree with JJones - those are tricky 'gotchas'. Another unrecyclable is the metallized film for packs of 40 teabags - it looks like foil but it isn't.

Re bagged rubbish, we (on Umfreville) generate one half-full bag of black-bin waste each fortnight, and for that the bin staff pick it out and lob it, since it saves them time. But only for black bins, not green-top.  

They also did not collect on the due-date yestoday on Summerhill Road in N15 !!! What's going on, are they on strike??

Here's the link to report it/get it collected:


Thanks for that, i have now submitted a report. 

Yes, but obviously Veolia or Haringey's "client" side staff should be picking up the fact that people wanting to follow the correct rules are either: (1) not being given enough information to enable them to do so; - or-  (2) are doing the right thing but getting an unhelpful response from some staff collecting the recycling bins.

Either way there's a 'system'  problem which needs to be acknowledged, learned from and solved quickly. Not just in Umfreville Road and Summerhill Road, but because similar problems may occur anywhere in the borough.

Hoping for the best, someone from Haringey's Waste Management service may post on here with an explanation and some advice. Plus information on how they are tweaking the system.
In the meantime there's a shortcut which might work. Tweet the Haringey twitter account: @haringeycouncil 

Even if the immediate problem is solved, there is no guarantee of any organisational learning for the future.

Yes, I think they either 'revolt' about the rules or are understaffed. I had the same problem with the 'within one working day' ( for two black bins filled to the brim which had been overlooked) and it turned out to be 10 days. We just have to keep bombarding them with mails and complaints! There are four more uncollected ones nearby, admittedly these were overflowing. We were given spare green bags for recycling waste until we get a second green bin, again not delivered in the promised time in spite of several reminders...

Get in quick. The Twitter tip may not last for long.
Local council head honchos don't always think ahead. They of course, can get through to anyone they choose and issue instructions. So they may not realise - nor give a toss- that residents may be unhappy with:  "Press_1_Press_5_Your_Call_Is_Important_To_Us. That's_why_we_sacked_half_our_staff_while_you_grow_to_hate_Vivaldi. And in their usual top-down mode they ask comms staff for ten tweets a day of the usual upbeat stuff. Always full of sunshine, you know the Council's guff.
But they may not quickly spot that this opens a "soft door" alternative to the "hard-door" Call Centre. Leaving the Comms staff to do their best to act as a subsidiary Call Centre.

To be honest with you all i actually sympathize with the Recycling men. I have the same problem and I live in Wightman Road by the bridge. Our bins are full of rubbish because the people I live within the block of flats are scoundrels and cannot be bother to recycle properly or at all.

The Veolia people have left leaflets and letters on how to recycle several times through the years and nobody seem to care about it. I have been laminating leaflets and putting up notes on our main door etc.. and still nobody cares so now I have to bear all that filth and stench, including flies that has not been collected in weeks.

I am certain that if people would rinse and put everything that needs recycling in the correct bin and in plastic bag rather than black bin liners as stated in the leaflets we would have no trouble.  If people would put the rubbish in the correct bin rather than the recycling bins it would all be fine. Our front yard looks disgusting and I have given up!

Ps: I do not work for Veolia LOL and know nobody who works for them ah ah ah



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