Wanstead’s new wheelie bins have been delivered to those houses which have been selected to take part in the Redbridge-wide trial service,  heralding an end to years of black bag collections, but also raising fears of moves towards fortnightly collections.

Seven thousands homes across the borough are taking part in the scheme, collections for which begin on Monday. The council says it is hoping to reduce the cost of black bag collection – which runs at £18m a year. 

The 180-litre bins will suit some houses more than others – those with drives and/or front gardens will cope with them better than those without either, and it’s not clear how the council expects these households to avoid obstructing the pavement.

It is hoped that the wheelie bins will help contribute to increasing recycling levels and also help cut businesses using domestic collection for their waste, though it is not clear what difference wheelie bins will actually make in either case.

It is true, though, that Redbridge has a big task in increasing its recycling levels – currently it recycles,  reuses or composts just 24.9% of household waste, putting it at 331st place out of 345 councils in England. Bexley is the best-performing London borough, with 54.1%. (Source. )

Councillor John Howard, Redbridge cabinet member for Civic Pride, said:

“A key aim of the scheme is to keep our streets cleaner – containing rubbish in a wheelie bin will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess in our streets, which is unpleasant for everyone and costly to clean up.  Using wheelie bins for rubbish will also help keep people’s front gardens clean.

We’re testing the scheme to make sure that the bins reduce refuse tonnages and work for householders as intended, and we’re eager to hear residents’ views.”

Lost and found sign

From today, if you lose or find something in Wanstead, you can post details of the item via the form on this page. We will publicise details to our readership, hopefully helping to reunite items to their rightful owners.

The idea came from guerrilla gardener Marian Temple who, while tending the Wanstead Community Gardeners’ area at Wanstead Station found a hearing aid by the side of the compost bin. If it’s yours, the item was left on top of the bin and can be retrieved from there.

The Lost and Found page can be found using the links at the top of the page.

Ever wondered why street trees randomly sometimes seem to meet a sticky end? Wanstead historian Greg Roberts did (and got an answer, and gave a hot take in return).

Elsewhere in dead tree news, this formerly living stump on Elmcroft Ave has found a new vocation as an artisanal 100% organic rubbish bin, as patronised by at least one street drinker.

Wanstead’s festival of roadworks has taken a psychedelic turn on Nightingale Lane as the replacement of water mains continues…

Here is our annual roundup of the most-read stories on Wansteadium over the past year. It’s no surprise that the death of much-lamented Jill Stock was the most read story.

There are plenty of other stories too, and as is our tradition we’d like to thank everyone who has read the site over the past year, everyone who has signed up to follow our newsletter, and everyone who has sent in news items, photographs or thoughts to info@wansteadium.com. Without you there wouldn’t really be a Wansteadium.

1. RIP Jill Stock (June)  View

2. New café for Wanstead: Barrel Boulangerie opens (May) View

3. New homes to be built in Wanstead – on top of old ones (February) View

4. The mystery of Wanstead’s ‘Dark Alley’ (January) View

5. A new coffee shop for Snaresbrook (January) View

6. Wheelie bins are coming (March) View

7. The curious case of Wanstead’s ‘strip club’ (July) View

8. John Cryer’s Brexit position (January) View

9. Wanstead High Street, 1963 (part two) (January) View

10. This is how hot it is today in Wanstead: Tarmac swallows Coke (June) View

Here are the answers for the Wanstead Christmas Crossword. The winner was Wansteadium reader David. Kudos to him.  You can discuss the answers in the comments field below.