One of the biggest problems on this estate were the refuse storage areas; brick buildings with roofs. These areas had become real magnets for anti-social behaviour and environmental issues including fly-tipping, spillages, bad odours and rats. Deliberate fires had been started, and rough sleepers had been reported. The buildings also took up a lot of room with their large footprints and blocked out the light from the streets. The metroSTOR waste stream enclosures were recommended by another of our clients (a housing association) based in South London; I thought the units would work well in this area and the client agreed to use them. They have made a huge difference to the appearance and management of the area, especially when compared with the previous units. I’ve had positive comments from a range of council staff – the Project Manager likes their appearance and the Contracts Manager of the refuse contract says they work well for the collection team and he has had no reported operational problems. In terms of management, the way the units are designed makes it really easy to visually check and report fly-tipping in and around the units. If there are spillages they can easily be cleaned by washing through the open space at the bottom. The opening at the front for everyday use makes it possible to lock the bins away (and prevent them moving) between collections. The design is fantastic; they’re compact and low level, so don’t block views, light or footpaths. The timber panels are light in colour and look attractive, but don’t mark easily and have resisted an attempted fire with very little damage (and no repairs required). They were much more cost effective than other options that were considered. These have been so successful that I’ve recommended them to another client (another housing estate refurbishment for a local authority).
Senior Architect, Groundwork London