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At the testing bus

A bright start for Greener Ealing brings improvements

Greener Ealing, the council-run waste collection and street cleansing service, is celebrating a successful first year in operation, despite the challenging conditions of launching at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greener Ealing, which also looks after the borough’s parks and open spaces, is owned by Ealing Council and shares its vision to tackle the climate emergency by offering an environmentally friendly service and encouraging positive behaviour change among residents.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s cabinet member for climate action, said: “The council’s decision to bring this service back under its control with the launch of Greener Ealing is certainly paying off with a much-improved service for residents. We work hard to offer an environmentally friendly service, with the introduction of electric fleets and equipment and we are working closely with Greener Ealing to raise awareness about making those small changes that can have a big impact. Like making sure we dispose of our waste in the right bins, a small thing to get right which can reduce harmful pollution and save council taxpayers money in the long run.

“But our work doesn’t stop here and we have lots more planned for the service to benefit residents and our environment. Greener Ealing’s management team and all its staff have done us proud over this last year and I would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work.”

The service launched on 5 July 2020, taking over from the previous contractor Amey. And, since then, the pandemic has highlighted just how critical this group of workers are and the essential work that they do.

Complaints about waste collections have dropped dramatically – including by more than 50% from January-May, compared to the same time last year before GEL had taken over the contract. Meanwhile, satisfaction with street cleaning services has risen since Greener Ealing took over, with complaints dropping by 21% over the last year.

These marked improvements have been delivered by a good performance from staff, many of whom were transferred across to Greener Ealing from Amey. Since the transfer all staff are now also paid the London Living Wage.

Kevin O’Leary, Greener Ealing’s interim managing director, said: “This has been a particularly tough year in which to start a service, so to see the results that we have are quite remarkable. This is down to not only changes in managing the way the service is delivered, but more importantly to the frontline staff who deliver this service directly to residents. I am really proud of my staff and what we have achieved together. The service is by no means perfect, but I think we’ve made a solid start on which to continue building. We’ve come a long way in one year.

“Our performance figures have improved despite the rising amounts of rubbish and recycling being collected, largely because more people are working from home. This has meant extra work and pressure for the frontline workers, which they have embraced. It is really important to us that we deliver the quality of service that residents should be getting and, whilst we might not get it right every time, we are continually looking at ways to improve further.”

For more information about Greener Ealing visit www.greenerealing.co.uk

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