Mayor of London rubbishes Barnet Council position on bin collections

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has laid into Barnet Council’s bin collection policies in a reply to Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore. The Mayor has been in dispute with the Council over its decision to scrap kerbside food collection, which contradicts the Mayor’s environment strategy.

Mr Dismore asked the Mayor:

‘The Leader of Barnet Council was asked a written question at Full Council on Tuesday 30th October if he would “guarantee that a separate food waste collection will be restored in Barnet?” His full response was “No”. The Environment Committee chair was asked “When will a separate food waste collection service be restored?”, the response was “Maybe not”. Do you believe Barnet Council are being straightforward and honest in their negotiations with you?’

The Mayor replied:

‘On the 28th of September, the London borough of Barnet and the GLA reached agreement that Barnet Council would only temporarily suspend its food waste collection and undertake an independent review of its recycling collection services to see where they could be improved.

‘Since that time, officers from our respective organisations have worked diligently and positively in delivering the terms of that agreement. Public communications were issued by Barnet that made the temporary nature of the suspension clear. They also stated that it would be reintroduced in line with the requirements of my London Environment Strategy (by 2020) and that residents should retain their brown ‘caddies’ in anticipation of the reintroduction of the service. In addition, my officers report good progress on the independent review of the service that I insisted upon prior to the services reintroduction.

‘Given this, I was surprised and concerned at the public responses by the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet member which appeared to contradict our agreement, and which could cause confusion for Barnet’s residents. I have therefore written to the Leader expressing concern and requesting that our agreement is accurately reflected in future public communications, especially with the public.’

Responding to the Mayor’s reply Mr Dismore said:

‘Barnet Council’s waste collection is an absolute joke. Their new bin collection routes have caused havoc with some bins not collected for weeks, despite the Conservatives saying before the Council elections this year that they would keep weekly bin collections.

‘Now they have received a stern telling off from the Mayor because of their arrogant responses to Labour Councillors’ questions. After calling him an “enemy of the people of Barnet” for no reason whatsoever, they are now publicly contradicting their own agreements. What a shambles they are!”

Labour Environment spokesperson Alan Schneiderman added:

‘The decision by Barnet Conservatives to stop a separate food waste collection is bad for the environment and will actually increase the cost of disposing of food waste. Thanks to the Mayor, an independent review of the food waste collection service will be carried out and we will keep up the pressure for Barnet to restore a separate collection’.



  • Andrew Dismore is the Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden
  • Cllr Alan Schneiderman is Barnet Labour’s spokesperson for the Environment.