Pilot Scheme – Recycling and Rubbish Improvements

24 August, 2020 | Consultations, Environment, Our Neighbourhood | 8 comments

Everyone in Fitzrovia has noticed the rubbish and dumping that unfortunately seems to have become a daily blight on our streets.

One of the significant problems identified by residents is that there is a general confusion on collection times and days and signage is inconsistent with what happens in reality. As a result of this confusion many residents have a become accustomed to putting our rubbish out at any time which has led to the rubbish-strewn streets. Also there has been a more general call for the number of recycling collections to be increased.

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum, in consultation with local residents, has worked with Westminster City Council over the last two years to agree simplifications and improvements to recycling and rubbish collection times. These are now being trialled in a limited area of Fitzrovia as part of the pilot.   A map of the pilot area is below.

The pilot improves and simplifies the collection arrangements, including an increase in recycling for all streets and an increase in rubbish collection in some streets. Our area is fortunate, unlike our neighbours Camden and other London Boroughs where refuse and recycling is often only once a week (with reviews in hand to move this back to fortnightly) we will see an increase in general and recycling collection.

It is acknowledged that restaurants and businesses contribute to the rubbish problem and they also have been informed of new collection times in order to reduce the amount of time rubbish sacks are on the streets.

People have complained about dumping, especially by builders and house clearers.  Westminster hopes to place more officers on the street during the pilot period, to enforce this and other contraventions.

As a part of the Neighbourhood Forum, we as residents and local businesses can all work together for the greater good of our environment. We do want to make sure that all residents understand the pilot arrangements and the new and improved collection times and days. The Council is contacting all households to explain the new arrangements first and providing letters to identify collection times in the particular streets in the pilot area.

We are all looking forward to seeing cleaner streets as the pilot progresses.

We would very much like to hear residents’ feedback to the pilot and the improvements to the service.

Please comment below or contact us by email at info@fitzwest.org. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is:


Details of the pilot

From Monday 4th September 2017 please put out your recycling and rubbish for collection at the following times:

Please leave your tied recycling and rubbish directly outside your property for collection. Apart from pedestrianised streets such as Middleton Place rubbish and recycling is not to be piled up at the ends of streets.

Please do not leave recycling and rubbish out on the street outside of these times or overnight. This is considered to be fly tipping and you could be fined by Westminster Council.  It also encourages seagulls, pigeons, rats, mice and other vermin.

How to put out your recycling and rubbish:

For recycled waste please use the clear recycling bags provided by Westminster City Council. You can order recycling bags online via: westminster.gov.uk/recycling-bags

Please put your normal rubbish out in appropriately tied bags, such as black bin bags.

Look for the new signs on your street for exact timings.


Bulky waste collections

For items such as fridges, mattresses and tables, etc., please arrange online via:westminster.gov.uk/residential-bulky-waste Please be aware that leaving bulky waste items on street is illegal and can lead to substantial fines. Feedback from our consultation reveals that many residents consider this to be a major anti-social issue. The Council will be inspecting streets to enforce against illegal street dumping.

For further information about Westminster City Council’s waste services, please visit: www.westminster.gov.uk/recycling


Please do let your neighbours know about these important changes and please look at your local street notices.  The pilot is being arrnaged by WCC and they are responsible for the details.

Working together we can improve our streets; stop fly-tipping and street dumping and reduce the amount of rubbish left on the streets. The increase in recycling provision will also help the environment.

Please comment below or contact us by email at info@fitzwest.org. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is: twalsh@westminster.gov.uk  Because of holidays please bear with us if you do not see your feedback here for a few days.  Rest assured we will be monitoring daily after 5th September.



  1. Chris Shaw

    The refuse pilot is an opportunity for a concerted improvement of the refuse and recycling arrangements in the Fitzwest area but requires the support and assistance of all residents working together to stop street dumping of rubbish outside of the frequent collection times.

    The pilot proposals also signficantly increase the recycling collections and are an important part of the world-wide commitment to the reduction of landfill waste and the reuse of our packaging; paper and plastic.

  2. Linus Rees

    This is a copy of an email I sent to Tom Walsh about the changes to rubbish and recycling.

    Tom Walsh

    I have seen the letter sent out to residents, the announcement on the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum website, the email sent by the forum to their members, and the street signs put up by the council.

    Whilst we welcome the council’s and the forum’s well-intended efforts to improve the streets, we have identified some problems and concerns with the pilot starting from Monday 4 September.

    As the Forum acknowledges, there is a general confusion on collection times. But instead of less confusion, more confusion has been introduced.

    First, one resident contacted us to say the letter gives the incorrect address of the Fitz West Neighbourhood website. The letter directs people to http://www.FitzWest.org.uk — it should be FitzWest.org/wordpress (which is correctly stated at the top of the letter).

    Secondly, the pilot area map shows a borderline to the area running down the middle of part of Foley Street, part of Riding House Street, and the whole of Candover Street. A resident at 61 Riding House Street received a letter announcing the changes but asked why their building was not included in the pilot area as shown on the map. Why is the west side of Candover Street included and not the east? Why split Riding House Street down the middle? Why divide up part of Foley Street? Are the collection times different?

    The letter says “please let your neighbours know about these important changes” — but presumably not if they live across the street?

    On the list of streets with new collection times on the FitzWest website, there is no listing for Foley Street, yet part of the street is within the boundary on the map. https://fitzwest.org/consultations/pilot-scheme-recycling-and-rubbish-improvements/

    On Cleveland Street outside Fitzroy Place (not in the pilot area on the map) there is a Westminster council sign near the new zebra crossing with the instruction for rubbish and recycling to be placed on the pavement. Yet all residents at Fitzroy Place have an internal and managed rubbish collection system and a contract with Westminster council for rubbish and recycling to be collected from the basement service yard. People should not put rubbish out on the pavement as directed by the council’s own sign!

    Many residents we spoke to said the loss of bulk rubbish bins from the streets has made matters worse. Some residents are reluctant to put their rubbish on the pavement at anytime and prefer to walk to the nearest bulk bin they can find.

    We also fear that many people will have difficulty putting out their rubbish between 7.30 am and 8.00 am and these could become victims of heavy-handed treatment by council enforcement officers who are clamping down of those who put their refuse out last thing at night.

    Nowhere in the letter sent to residents or on the FitzWest website is there any mention of the huge amount of short-term letting in private flats taking place. We are currently investigating short-term letting, but information gathered so far is that some private residential blocks are dominated by short-term lets and people who are here today and gone tomorrow are dumping rubbish at all times of day.

    Residents tell us they want cleaner streets and they want to help the council achieve this. But they cannot do so when letters, emails, websites, and street signs all give conflicting information and their neighbours come and go at all hours.


    Linus Rees
    director and trustee, Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association

    • admin

      Thank you Linus for your comments. I’m pleased that you have notified Tom of the discontinuities in the pilot scheme. We too have pointed these out, but only Westminster Council have the power to change or modify everything.
      Wendy Shillam – webmaster

  3. Lisa

    I am really struggling to get my rubbish out during the 30 minute window specified for Langham street. I work late in the evenings and am not awake at 7.30am. The bulk bins that we had for many years (I have lived here for 24 years) worked really well. They suited everyone’s schedule and didn’t leave rubbish on the street where vermin would be encouraged. If the bulk bins are not to return then we need either a longer window to drop our rubbish in the street (7.30 – 9.30 – a timescale which would catch most people leaving for work) or at minimum two different times per day (one morning and one late afternoon).

  4. Caroline Mawer

    Dear Mr Walsh
    I live on Gosfield St
    Can I please start by saying how much cleaner the street is with the pilot.
    Now I dont feel ashamed to live here. Thanks so much for organising the pilot!
    I’m very concerned that it will stop! I do hope not!! It would be great if you could reassure me about this.
    I would like to make a few little points if you dont mind. Please dont take my comments as anything other than suggesting some fine-tuning of an excellent scheme
    1. I cant find any signs on Gosfield St about collection times. With so many short term lets here, I think obvious signs could be really helpful. Are there really twice a day collections here? i’ve only ever seen the morning one
    2. What should we do about rubbish left out at the wrong times? I dont want you / me to be heavy handed – but eg could we have bright/ colourful signs to stick on just to say when it should have been left out? Just as information
    3. There is still rubbish often left at the corner of Gosfield / Langham St through the day. When the rubbish collectors pick the bags up, they often / usually leave scattered bits that have come out of bags. Is this what you want them to do?
    4. People often sit on the steps of the flats where I live – and they often leave food / drink / wrappings. Of course I dont like this! Have you got any ideas about what to do about this? When I get in from work, I dont have gloves / bags with me to pick up other peoples half-eaten food. And if I did, I then wouldnt be able to put it in a bag before 7am the next morning. Maybe if there were more public rubbish bins very nearby, it could be better?
    As above, many thanks fro the pilot.
    If you want to contact me, please feel free to do that
    Best wishes

  5. Caroline Mawer

    Above is a copy of the email I sent to Mr Walsh

  6. James Bone

    The pilot rubbish. Ollection scheme is clearly designed for the convenience of the council’s collectors – not the convenience of the raidents WHO PAY FOR IT.

    It has left streets strewn with garbage at all times of the day.

    It is quite UNREALISTIC to expect residents to put out rubbish at 6am in the morning or at 8:30pm when many are out.

    Residents need fixed points to put out garbage at OUR CONVENIENCE.

    If the is a problem with dumping at fixed collection points, there should be enforcement against dumpers (by video at hose collection points, for instance) – and not enforcement against residents who, struggle to comply with impossible times under the trial for putting out garbage in the streets.

    The problem befor was that fix d collection points were not serviced regularly and rules against dumps no were not enforced.

    If the council cannot enforce rules against against dumpers, how is the council going to enforce rules against residents who break impossible rules.

    The rubbish bin on the corner of Fol y and Hanson has just become an ad hoc collection point with residents leaving rubbish there at any time of the day and dumpers dumping large items there. This is WORSE than before.

    The trial has been a farce that has left our streets filthier.

    Please remember that residents pay the council to provide a service for us – not the other way around.

    The convience of residents should be the starting point for any new scheme.

  7. James Hunter

    This is a copy of my letter emailed to Tom Walsh on 12th October. Still waiting on a reply.

    Dear Tom,

    With regards to the Pilot Scheme – Recycling and Rubbish Collection Service Improvements.

    As a resident of Hanson Street for over 20 years I quite understand the problems Westminster Council face in dealing with rubbish disposal.

    In answer to questions raised in your letter handed to residents dated 3rd October.
    I think it is a great move introducing a two day collection of recycling each week. Although I feel it has shown some improvement in less rubbish left on the street, there are still some people either ignoring or not knowing of the collection times.

    I think one of the problems is that many properties in this street are landlord owned and rented out privately, mostly to students. I feel because of the turnaround of short term let’s, the message regarding rubbish disposal is not being adhered to through landlord to tenant. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t put the onus entirely on private letting, it is also a problem from residents both in private and social housing. But perhaps a letter sent to all known landlords regarding their responsibilities to pass on this information to their prospective tenants within their contracts.

    I have witnessed additional problems of rubbish left out overnight, seeing bags being ripped open by migrants roaming the streets in the early hours, creating more mess to attract vermin.

    I have spoken with Westminster council previously regarding the removal of the large black bins that were in Foley Street for many years. They had been removed without notice to residents. I was told those bins were for commercial use only, but that was not the case. There were bins placed there for both residential, commercial and recycling.

    It is my belief that we are paying the price having these bins removed to ensure the constant influx of multi million pound developments in and around Fitzrovia, do not see what they might consider an eyesore. It is therefore impossible to maintain cleaner streets when Westminster remove vital refuse bins, especially when the local population is increasing.
    So your question any suggestions or changes? In short, return these bins and the others removed from Langham/Gosfield Street.

    It would also help if letters handed out to properties about refuge collections etc, be multilingual for the benefit of those residents who may not be able to read English and therefore not able to adhere to the rules of local waste disposal.

    Needless to say, I have signed the petition set up by West End Labour Action Team, to have these bins returned.

    This is my feedback as requested in your letter. I would appreciate your response rather than inject this as standard feedback in your system.

    Yours respectfully

    J. Hunter