Our local councillor Meric Apek has been pursuing this issue on our behalf with the relevant Cabinet member, Cllr. Phil Jones, who has now replied. He writes (our emphasis):
The council wants every resident who has space to have a wheelie bin, as this system saves the council taxpayer money, reduces the carbon impact of the service, and will boost the stagnant recycling levels in Camden. We will therefore encourage residents to have them. Nevertheless, if someone does not want a wheelie bin they can opt-out of receiving one and their recycling will still be collected. See the information circulated previously: www.camden.gov.uk/recyclingchanges.
If you follow the link (which was only updated on 1.11.12) you will find this:
How can I let you know that I don’t want a wheelie bin?
If you have received a letter and survey, please write to us to let us know using the freepost envelope. Or you can email email@example.com or call 020 7974 4444.
The website also tells you how to request the smaller size bin – however it is worth noting that if it is height that concerns you, the “small” bin is just 4 cm shorter than the large bin and both are over a metre high. The website also makes it clear that you can request additional green boxes or recycling bags if you prefer this.
We are as keen as the council to encourage recycling – but there are other ways to do so without ruining the appearance of our beautiful conservation area.
We have e-mailed a reply to Phil Jones including:
As far as we can tell, prior to the public meetings and the information posted on the website on 1.11.12, this is not information that had previously been given to affected people – as I understand it it was certainly not offered as an option in the letters to individual households. It might have allayed a lot of anxieties if it had been made clear at an earlier stage ……. We are concerned that, if it is indeed the case that the option to refuse a bin has only been brought in at this late stage, it is intended to head off challenges but will not remain long term policy. We would appreciate your reassurance on this point.
Debby and David