Nov 17 2010 By James Cracknell, Harrow Observer
FRIENDS of the Earth has threatened to take legal action against Brent Council for its 'failure to mention' to residents that refuse collections would become fortnightly.
At the town hall in Wembley on Monday, the Labour-led executive agreed to push forward with plans to collect food and garden waste weekly and general waste and recycling on alternate weeks.
This was despite the accusation from residents that the council had deliberately deceived them in the consultation which ended last month.
Elaine Henderson, from the Brent branch of Friends of the Earth (FoE), said: "The consultation did not explain that grey bins would be collected fort-nightly. This is a serious omission and we are considering whether to go for a judicial review.
"What you are proposing to do is withdraw a service and I really think this is verging on dishonesty because the consultation did not make that clear."
The environment leader, Councillor James Powney (Lab, Kensal Green), responded: "We will be going to someone's house every week and collecting something.
"So that appears to me to be completely accurate."
Unless the application to the High Court for a judicial review of the council's decision is made, the new waste strategy will be implemented in 12 months' time.
It means residents will receive a new, larger mixed recycling box into which they can put cardboard, mixed plastics and Tetrapaks for the first time.
But confusion about the plans arose when the council clearly stated in its consultation document that "we are committed to maintaining a weekly waste collection", when in fact general waste would now be collected only once every two weeks.
Green bins containing food and garden waste, which are not suitable for all types of high-rise buildings, will still be collected every week.
And amid accusations that recycling would be shipped abroad, Mr Powney added: "We are not sending any waste to China, we are sending it to Aylesbury. Most of it will be used in the UK, or the EU."
The council hopes its new waste strategy will save at least £1million over the
next two years and boost recycling rates up to 60 per cent, more than double the current 28 per cent.