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Penge rubbish problem 'getting worse and worse'

PUBLISHED: 15:05 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:01 24 May 2016

Bin bags full of rubbish regularly pile up on Penge High Street

Bin bags full of rubbish regularly pile up on Penge High Street

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A petition has been launched to encourage the council to clean up the High Street

A Penge woman has attacked the council for failing to deal with the rubbish on Penge High Street, claiming the problem is getting ‘worse and worse’.

Sahar Awad, who has lived in Penge for 12 years, has launched a petition on Change.org to encourage the council to tackle the issue by introducing daily collections or finding space for communal bins, and it now has more than 450 signatures.

She told the Bromley Times: “We have been noticing a real deterioration in hygiene in the past year or so and it is just lots and lots of black bin bags accumulating.

“We have a collection twice a week and then the next day they have started piling up again.

“At night the foxes come and spread the rubbish everywhere. There are quite a lot of parents saying their children are dodging the rubbish.”

Ms Awad said the population of the area has increased significantly in recent years, with more families moving in, and this has exacerbated the problem.

“The council explained that they were looking at it but said there is no space for communal bins and they attract fly tipping - but so does rubbish like this,” she said.

“Communal bins were taken away for no reason, and now there are bags where the communal bins used to be.

“The council do not have an answer. If they looked hard, they would find the space.

“Nothing gets done and the problem is getting worse and worse.”

She said the council needs to start thinking creatively to come up with a solution to the problem.

“You need a long-term solution. It is quite hard to change people’s behaviour, and I do not think people will keep hold of the rubbish for three or four days at a time.

“This is the dirtiest part of the whole borough and our residents are at a loss to understand why. Beckenham does not look like this, neither does Southwark or Lewisham.

“You really notice the difference when you travel around. All boroughs are strapped for cash, but Bromley is faring quite miserably.”

Colin Smith, executive councillor for the environment at Bromley Council, said: “It is a matter of fact that Penge High Street already receives more waste collections than anywhere else in the borough, in recognition that some residents locally do not have much internal storage space for their waste, but there is a limit to what can be done.

“It is also true that certain households are continuing to foul the footway with their rubbish the next day following collection when they shouldn’t be and that practice clearly needs to end.

“Some thought is already being given to the possibility of communal bins, another possibility could be residents/traders are being issued with multiple fixed penalty notices or even prosecuted for fly-tipping where the evidence permits.

“To that end, it would be helpful and treated in strictest the strictest confidence if residents see this happen, or perhaps spot drivers from passing vehicles offloading bags of rubbish would let the Council know to enable its enforcement team to intervene.

“Ultimately, the Council can’t be everywhere at once and we are going to need some community champions to step up and be counted locally to work with their fellow neighbours to help spread better practice for the good of all”.

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