Tory Councillors Say Christmas Tree Collection 'a Shambles'

Council pledges to extend service until every tree has gone

Tory councillors with uncollected trees

January 18, 2023

Conservative councillors in Wandsworth have described the collection of Christmas trees in the borough as ‘a shambles’ saying they have been inundated with complaints from residents.

The opposition group is urging the Labour council to take urgent action to deal with what they say is the large number of Christmas trees currently blocking pavements across the borough.

The council has announced that it will be extending the tree collection service for at least a week and until every tree has gone.

Each year, Wandsworth Council provides a service where used Christmas trees are collected for free from outside residential properties at the end of the festive season. Residents are provided with clear details about the specific day trees will be collected from their street by council waste contractors.

Over the last ten days, the councillors say that there have been a large number of complaints from people who have put their trees out for collection at the appointed time, only for collections to be repeatedly missed.

Cllr Will Sweet, the Conservative leader on Wandsworth Council said, “Wandsworth Labour has presided over a shambles when it comes to this year’s Christmas tree collections.

“The borough’s pavements are littered with uncollected trees. This is creating real problems for elderly and disabled residents, as well as those pushing prams.

“Residents aren’t at fault here. They were provided with a clear timetable to put their trees on out for collection. The Labour council missed it – they haven’t kept their part of the bargain.

“Wandsworth Conservatives call on the Labour council to urgently outline the steps they are going to take clear our pavements and explain what has gone so badly wrong".

Council worker removing Christmas trees
Council worker removing Christmas trees

The council says that it does not believe that the problem with uncollected trees is any worse than in previous years.

It says that annual Christmas tree collection service will remain in full operation until every unwanted tree is collected.

Tens of thousands are collected every year and recycled into compost as part of the council’s environmental policies.

Cabinet Member for Environment Judi Gasser said, “We know there are many uncollected trees out there and so we are extending the service for at least another week so that we can make sure we collect every single one. We’d like to apologise to our residents for this inconvenience and we will be reviewing the operation and how it’s conducted to ensure the service improves next year.

“We were hoping to complete the task within a fortnight but it’s clear we do need some extra time, so I would urge residents to please make sure their unwanted trees are clearly visible at the front of their properties so they can be seen, and I would also appeal to residents to please bear with us while we finish the job.

“We know this is taking longer than we’d hoped but residents can rest assured that we will collect every tree as quickly as we can.”

This free collection service only applies to real trees – not artificial ones – and all decorations, baubles, tinsel and stands should be removed.

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