Herne Hill’s ‘revolutionary’ commercial waste scheme is national first

George Hornby surveys rubbish left on Milkwood Road
Herne Hill resident George Hornby surveys rubbish left on Milkwood Road

Herne Hill businesses, in what is said to be a national first, have joined with the Herne Hill Forum and a south London waste collection enterprise to start to do away with the area’s problem of commercial waste left on pavements.

The forum said a new “waste collective”scheme is designed to keep streets clear of commercial waste and large bins for 23 hours a day, every day, with a cost effective recycling collection service.

Nineteen local businesses have signed up so far and more are expected to join..

Harry Niazi of Olley’s Fish Experience shows off his Herne Hill Waste Collective sticker
Harry Niazi of Olley’s Fish Experience shows off his Herne Hill Waste Collective sticker

Harry Niazi, Owner of Olley’s Fish Experience, said the scheme had been easy and cost effective to implement.

“I rarely see any of my rubbish in my street now,” he said.

“The collectors come like clockwork after the end of the shift, right to the back of the restaurant so it doesn’t go out on the road. Being a food business we’re really conscious of being sustainable and recycling everything we can.”

Waste Collective stickerThe Waste Collective, a partnership of local businesses, the Herne Hill Forum and Quantum Waste, has the support of Lambeth and Southwark councils.

Quantum can collect from up to 40 businesses on each trip and is able to recycle or compost 90% of the rubbish. Food is composted or transformed into biogas or fertiliser.

Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes said the scheme was “a great example of local businesses working together to improve the area for all,” adding: “It’s great to see Herne Hill leading the way on a sustainable approach to commercial waste.”

Herne Hill resident George Hornby said: “Large industrial bins clog up the pavement. I don’t see why businesses can keep their bins on streets and residents aren’t allowed to.”

Javier Rojo of Quantum Waste said: “We are aiming to turn the old system of rigid contracts for weekly wheelie bin waste disposals into a flexible, pay as you go, people centred, daily bag collection service that enables traders to recycle all materials at once.

“The new system is good for the public, the traders and also good for the environment.”

Giles Gibson, chair of the Herne Hill Forum, said: ‘This is clearly a powerful opportunity to improve our environment and we urge all Herne Hill traders to come aboard when their existing arrangements end.

“You’ll find the scheme cheaper and better for customers, so better for your business. It also supports local enterprise and employment in the collection and recycling sector.”

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  1. Restaurants and Cafes on Norwood Road, Milkwood Road and the rest of Herne Hill should not be allowed to keep their bins on the pavement. It spoils the area. It’s particularly bad around the Herne Hill end of Norwood Road. On Monday mornings, it’s near impossible not to slip on some kind of chicken bone left there. The pavement is dirty, the bins are overflowing. Why is it down to a few responsible and proactive businesses to sort out this mess? What about the other places that are they willing to sort out the mess or keep the area clean? Council should ban commercial bins from the pavement.

  2. Nice to see some responsible business owners solving problems themselves. If only there were more like them.
    Do the council reward these nice people with discounts on their business rates for doing this, I wonder?

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