When I did my presentation for BATCA (which I’ve embedded again below) last week I commented that I felt one of the best things to come out of it was the the time-banded waste collection – a remarkably simple idea that has had a huge impact on the cleanliness of the streets.

The idea is mind-numbingly simple – it’s effectively waste collection by appointment. Businesses can only leave waste out during specific time bands during the day, one during the day and one during the night. While this might seem a small thing, it means waste isn’t littering the streets waiting to be collected. Aside from the detriment to the look of an area, having waste out, however tidily bagged, tends to attract other waste – you’ll often find small piles of litter placed their by pedestrians who assume that it will be collected along with the rest (sadly, it usually isn’t, because the waste is collected by a business contractor, not the council).

I’m not the only one who admires the idea for its simplicity, it was highly commended for innovation by Keep Britain Tidy last week. The idea has already been replicated in Balham, and is being rolled out in Clapham Junction this summer. Congratulations to everyone in the council’s waste department who worked on making it a success, it may be a simple thing, but it will make a huge difference in the town centres as it is spread across the borough.