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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I have ordered new wheelie bins for over a month now!! Every time I call they promise another date of delivery. This passes and I see no bins. I call again, same story. We are accumulating waste bags, that are not collected because they are not in a bin.

I have also tried to contact the manager. She is incidentally never available when I call (either not in or in meetings). They promise me on the phone that she will call me back when she is free. But she doesn't - it's been a week now.

Am I the only one that has these kind of problems with Veolia? What does it take to convince them what we all pay them to do? Is there a way for the council to take action? Because they don't seem to be delivering what they promised! - I don't have access to the contract, but I'm sure it's violated.

What's the best way to complain to get things done?

Tags for Forum Posts: bin collection, bounds green, new recycling bins, rubbish, veolia, veolia missed collections, waste

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The malfunctioning collection day lookup fault is ridiculous. its a bread and butter function for a huge number of services. How can it take so long to sort it out?
Strangely, when I tried my sister's postcode up in Sunderland, who I know don't use Veolia, it correctly said it couldn't find the address.

I received yet another vague apology after my last email, with assurance that the bin would be delivered promptly.  Although I received such empty promises in the past, I am pleased to report that our bin was finally delivered (no direct action required).

I recently met a nice guy called Ayer Ozinel who happened to be Veolia's Outreach Manager. When I asked who I should complain to about my bin not being collected for over 2 weeks he said 'me'! So I did when it had not been collected for another couple of days and it was collected the morning after I contacted him again!

His details are:

Ayer Ozinel
Outreach Team Leader

United Kingdom

t: +44 07557289260

Contract House, Ashley Road Depot, Ashley Road I London N17 9AZ

This appears to be an example of what I call: 'Soft door; Hard door'.  It's where the main systems don't work properly (they dysfunction).

This can be for all sorts of reasons.

For example: as an implicit rationing system. In other words, they make it harder for you to access them and get the service you want. So you'll eventually give up trying.

It may be unintentional. They say they'd like to help. And "hey, guys, and we really, really mean it"   But they haven't got much of a clue how to do this.

So people outside try to get informal access. (Who can I talk to? Give me a name, someone who is actually helpful.) And/or privileged access. (Who knows someone important with influence?)  Or worse.

The more injelitant an organisation (Koberville is case study) and the less you can opt for an alternative, the more getting it to work for you depends on these sorts of informal mechanisms.

Please note that I'm not criticising Mr Ozinel or anyone else who helps make a partially dysfunctional system work better. And that includes helpful councillors; advice and advocacy agencies like the Citizens' Advice Bureau; and individual campaigners like Rev Paul Nicolson. I'm simply suggesting that it would be preferable if the systems overall worked as they ought to. Which needs more than gradual privatisation and a nag-the-staff culture with posters on toilet doors.

Thanks for posting this good news and useful information.

It proves my confidence in Veolia is well founded and you can get good results from their staff if you communicated with them effectively.

In the particular examples given, Neil O'Shea, I don't see what's happened as "proving" anyone's confidence in Veolia.

So far the only truly "effective communication"  appears to be a personal meeting between Justin Guest and Veolia's Manager, Ayer Ozinel.  Possibly, contact with councillors may resolve the other outstanding requests made through to Veolia. 

Plus Phivos made a number of phonecalls and got broken promises. Why is that a cause for "confidence"?

Your previous post was quite interesting Alan. Thanks

I have just had to go back to Ayer, as it looks like the whole of the street was missed last Weds (green and grey bins). I have asked for a bit of an explanation, and reminded them that it is critical bins are emptied tomorrow (as part of the normal collection schedule). Lets see.

Its a bit odd as we have not had a missed collection in yonks, and suddenly several in a row.

Justin, I think "a bit of an explanation" is the very least you should be entitled to!  And the other residents in your street as well.  Not just because you were in touch with Mr Ozinel.
A card through the door up and down your street? Or perhaps an email to people who phoned or emailed with a complaint?

There may be a reasonable explanation.  A truck broken down, for instance. Though hiring a replacement would seem reasonable if the delay went on for any length of time.

He doesn't seem to like answering his phone...

It's what sometimes happens with a "soft door", Ben.  Though I'm not making any assumptions about Mr Ozinel.

This is what I've seen. Somebody gets known as a sympathetic and efficient individual member of staff who goes the extra mile and gets things done. Let's call them Ms Icando.

So people tell their friends and acquaintances to phone Ms Icando. Saying something like: "Don't spend time going through the system. You email and maybe nobody replies. Or you phone and wait ages and then press this number and that number. And when you finally get through to someone they may not be able to solve the problem anyway. Or sound like they are reading from a script." 

So Ms Icando gets a steadily increasing number of calls. Unfair and possibly dysfunctional.

The first time I came across this I was researching with teams which were trying to be flatter and more open to the public. One was set up inside a larger agency with a central public access system which was rather strict and unhelpfully bureaucratic - in the worst sense of that word. The friendlier more relaxed and open team quickly found it couldn't meet the work generated by the volume of people choosing to come to them.

I have called veolia once a fortnight or so for close to 6 months enquiring when our street will be cleaned and asking him to call me. The chap's phonophobic I tells you.... Whilst his company appear quite cleanaphobic...

Sorry. I should have posted his email too, and just realised I did not. ayer.ozinel@veolia.com

So last week none of our bins were collected. It looks like many bins were missed on our street. I heard a recycling bin wagon rolling down the street and thought I would check my bin had been collected, and it had not- even though there was an operative (if that is the right term) in next doors garden.

I asked him what the story was, and why so many bins had not been collected. His answer was that I had not taken my bin to the threshold of the garden. We had a pleasant discussion (with one of his more grumpy colleagues chipping in), but he said, and I para-phrase:

  • Your bin is not at the threshold
  • It is a health and safety risk coming into the garden to get the bin
  • I could fall down a hole, trip over something, poke my eye on a branch of your bush
  • We have not been 'briefed' to take bins not on the threshold

So, fair point, if it is dangerous, do not get the bin, but my garden has a clear path to the bin (see pic below) and the bin had been in this position and successfully collected (when I do not bring it to the threshold) for the last 12 years!!!

Also below a scan of the Veolia guidance dropped through my door the other day. It says please bring your bin to the threshold, but no where does it state it will not be collected if not.

The grey waste bin was then duly dragged out to the middle of the front of the house (its not a garden..) and it sat there all day. Seethe other images of a random selection of houses I passed as I walked down the GL this morning. Also, clearly not collected.

So, I emailed Ayer on Tuesday as I mentioned. No response, I am about to call and email again. And I held such hope too!

Deep Joy!



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