DAA Residential
Whats in Wapping

Wapping waste and recycling

Wapping waste and recycling

“What a lot of rubbish” say some residents who think it’s getting worse.

Others disagree and don’t think Wapping has a litter problem.  So who’s right and who’s to blame?

Tower Hamlets Council has been asking us to “Give your views on waste strategy” during their six-week consultation which closes tomorrow.

We’ve taken a look ourselves, listened to what you’re saying and were surprised at what we discovered.

Picking up our Wapping rubbish

Litter collector Paul sees our rubbish every day, so when we saw him outside the Turk’s Head Café we decided to ask his view.

“It’s not that bad here really although it depends a lot. The worst is near food places after a Friday or Saturday night when people have been drinking. They throw cans, bottles and packaging on the floor even if there’s a bin nearby.”

Litter collection in Wapping: PaulWe wanted to know if there are particular problem areas in Wapping worse than others, but Paul told us,

“For a few days a place can be full of rubbish every day then it’s clean for weeks. I really don’t know. I couldn’t tell you any “bad places” because they’re just different every day or week”.

Paul works for Veolia Environmental Service, the waste collection company contracted to Tower Hamlets Council and he collects about seven trolleys of Wapping litter every day.

Rubbish aside, Paul was incredibly cheerful when we spoke to him last week telling us “I like my job”. He was picking up litter as we chatted and you’d never guess he starts work at 5.30am every morning after taking the number 47 night bus from Grove Park in south London.

Litter bins in Wapping

We’ve seen a lot of rubbish next to or on top of litter bins as this tweet tells.

Empty bin in Wapping Woods and they left their bottle of Fanta ‘on top’ of it.  Really?  You couldn’t pop it ‘in’?

Litter bins in Wapping E1WLogically if someone’s gone to the trouble of walking to a litter bin there must be a reason they’re not using it. We’ve not managed to catch anyone in the act to ask why, but suspect the holes are just too small for a lot of our bottles and packaging.

General recycling bins in Wapping

You can’t miss the small army of shiny purple recycle bins that arrived in Wapping recently. Everyone is committed to recycling but they don’t seem to have gone down well and one Facebook fan said,

I hate having them in every sight line. I imagine they’re quite noisy for those who have them outside their windows…

Purple recycle bins in WappingA redesign was suggested by one Wapping Twitterer because of problems getting rubbish inside the bins, especially for the less able amongst us.

The new recycling bins in Wapping are hopeless. Tiny aperture, hideous colour. Poor design and poor taste.

Sloped top lower at front, large handle, lid that stays open, large round aperture would be better for everyone.

Residents using pink recycle bags which are collected on designated days and those with recycling bins in central areas seem a lot happier. The ratio of recycling to general refuse bins however is as low as one to six in some blocks which we’d like to see improved.

Scope recycle bin in WappingCharity recycling bins in Wapping

Unwanted clothes and shoes can be donated to Scope in clearly marked green bins and items are either sold in Scope’s charity shops or recycled.

A brilliant idea but again we’ve spotted bags left next to rather than inside the bins.

Is the problem yet again that the holes are just too small?

What do you think about Wapping waste?

Information on all aspects of waste and recycling locations is available on the Tower Hamlets website. The nearest charity shop for donating clothes and other items is the Spitalfields Crypt Trust in Watney Market, Shadwell, but please share any others you know of.

Tower Hamlets Council are taking positive steps in the right direction, but we’ve suggested they go back to the drawing board on bin design before our money’s wasted on unusable facilities.

Recycle as much as you possibly can, put your litter in a bin and for now we’ll have to take it home if it won’t fit.


  • Hspearce

    Re purple recycling bins in bin rooms: if you have room for them you could always ask LBTH to supply more and perhaps remove one or more general bin. They might agree. Or you could ask them whether they would be prepared to take pink bagfulls at the same time as they empty the purple bins. These could be used for overspill, not ideal but better than having to chuck it in the general bins. The latter point might well get them to agree, as they are eager to recycle more.

  • http://www.whatsinwapping.co.uk What’s in Wapping

    We asked for any comments here to be added as feedback to Tower Hamlets consultation and also requested a response from them …will follow up if we don’t hear back!

  • Kreechah

    We live on Pennington street and it is littered with rubbish all the time. Lorry drivers throw away their lunch packaging and we get various Mc Donalds and alcohol waste. There is not a bin on the whole street.

  • Hspearce

    The problem with the Scope bins is that they are well used but not emptied often enough, plus some folk seem to prefer leaving their stuff on the floor next to a full bin instead of walking four yards to the other one which still has room. I wonder whether some of the overspill left lying around is stolen, before the foxes get into it, but I guess you might call that a form of recycling.