I wrote a critical article about the lazy attitude of Tower Hamlets Council to recycling on The Thoughts of Mr Bloggy, one of my other blog sites a few months ago.

Sadly since then the situation has got considerably worse instead of better.

I went to the Rushmead One-Stop-Shop at 9.30am as I had been told to on my last visit, only to discover that these council run One-Stop-Shops are more Dead-Stop than One-Stop. They now do not hand out recycling sacks at all.

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Rushmead One-Stop-Shop

Yes – that’s right, the Council’s own One-Stop-Shops throughout the borough now will not hand out recycling sacks.

Instead of being give my sacks, I was handed a sheet of A4 paper listing the qualifying criteria required to obtain recycling sacks.

Here it is:


From this document, you can clearly see that:

  1. You can only obtain sacks from Idea Stores
  2. These Idea stores will only hand out sacks once every 2 weeks.
  3. On the day of issue you only have a 3 hour window to collect your sacks.
  4. You need to supply approved proof that you reside at your address.
  5. Distribution centres do not include smaller libraries, such as Bethnal Green Library.

This schedule and list of instructions also leaves some unanswered questions:

  • How do you define a high rise block? I live on the 4th floor of a 6 floor block, and I was told that I come under the high-rise rules. To me a high rise block is one over around ten floors!
  • How do I obtain further information if I do not use the internet, as a large number of elderly and disabled people do not use computers or i-phones.
  • Why is there no telephone number for enquiries?
  • What happens if you work for a living or are unable to make the fortnightly 3 hour window?
  • This new routine came into effect on 5th December. Why was this revised schedule not distributed to all residents in advance?

My journey to my closest Idea Store will, as I am disabled and on crutches, take two buses to reach. It was so much easier when we could collect sacks from all one-stop-shops and libraries.

I asked the staff at the One-Stop-Shop why they had stopped distributing the sacks, and they passed the blame onto the delivery service, saying that they (the delivery service) would not deliver the sacks to them.

I am sorry but this strikes me as being an exercise in bone idleness on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council. They still want to make the profit from recycling, but refuse to put any effort into arranging it properly.

We live in an age where recycling plays a major part of daily living, where all councils are putting every effort into increasing the amount of recycling they achieve, with the sole exception of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, who are taking rapid steps backward.

There is no argument of additional cost, as the same staff who handed out the sacks originally are still there. The offices are still there. Council van services still run.

This is clearly nothing but an exercise in laziness on behalf of the Council.


On examining the Tower Hamlets Website ( on Recycling, the above was all confirmed with the addition, which I quote, as follows:

“Disabled residents will be able to arrange a delivery of recycling sacks by contacting the council on:


Call us on 020 7364 5004″

It’s a shame that the majority of housebound elderly and disabled cannot use the internet to discover this fact, as most of them do not use computers and have no access to the internet or e-mail!

Further Addendum – 13/12/16

The latest edition of Oureastend, the ‘newspaper’ produced by Tower Hamlets Council, and distributed throughout the Borough of Tower Hamlets, to every resident and business, has just been received.

This was the perfect opportunity to provide everyone in the borough with the latest changes to the recycling services, but there is not a mention of it.

You would think that they are trying to keep it a secret!

I would give you a link to it, but they still only have the September edition on their website, so here’s a link to that.



About Mr. Bloggy

I am a disabled volunteer community blogger. My real name is Mark Mapstone, I am an ex Royal Marine and was a consultant to the commercial mailing and distribution industry. Why not visit some of my other blogsites?

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