Genuine refuse collectors are strictly forbidden to ask
With Christmas just around the corner local residents are being warned to be on their guard against strangers knocking at their door claiming to be dustmen and asking for a seasonal tip.
Refuse collectors employed by the council's contractor Serco are strictly forbidden from approaching residents and asking for gifts. They face stringent disciplinary action, including dismissal, if they solicit for tips.
Anyone who approaches households and asks for a seasonal 'bonus' is almost certainly not a genuine refuse collector but an opportunist hoping to cash in on residents’ generosity.
Environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Nothing is more intimidating and unwelcome than someone knocking at your door asking for money. This is especially disconcerting if it happens at night.
"If the caller really is your dustman then he will know perfectly well that he should not be touting for tips and the penalties he will face if caught.
“For these reasons, the chances are that anyone who does this is almost certainly an opportunist who is trying to con people into handing over money.
"The best response every time must be a firm and polite no before closing the door."
Any approaches for money by people claiming to be refuse collectors should be reported to the police straight away or the council’s waste management team on (020) 8871 8558. This number can also be used for general refuse collection and recycling enquiries.
December 17, 2013