Wheelie bins that double as toilets return to Notting Hill

Wheelie bins that double as toilets return to Notting Hill

08/28/2022

Bog standard! Plywood toilet shacks where users do their business into a WHEELIE BIN and wide-open urinals pump waste directly into street drains make a return to Notting Hill Carnival despite concerns over public health

  • Pictures from this year show a row of cubicles which appear to each consist of a hole above a wheelie bin
  • On the other side of the structure is an assembly of sheet metal, signposted ‘urinal’, in the open air
  • Historic social media posts from previous Notting Hill Carnivals voiced concern about the ‘wheelie bin loos’
  • This year, Kensington & Chelsea Council has installed portable lavatories in more than 25 locations along the route of the parade – which officially launched at 10.30am as part of family day today 

Makeshift toilets put together from wooden shacks, open air urinals and wheelie bins that pump waste down the drain have returned to Notting Hill Carnival. 

Pictures of this year’s festival in west London show a row of cubicles which appear to each consist of two metal steps leading up to a hole above an open waste bin. On the other side of the structure is an assembly of sheet metal, signposted ‘urinal’, in the open air, which seems to directly feed into the drain. 

Historic social media posts from previous Notting Hill Carnivals, going back as far as 2016, voiced concern about the ‘wheelie bin loos’, complaining that the area had become ‘one great big open toilet’. 

This year, Kensington & Chelsea Council has installed portable lavatories in more than 25 locations along the route of the parade – which officially launched at 10.30am as part of family day today. 

Notting Hill Carnival has added 11 extra disabled access loos for 2022, raising the total number to 42. 

In 2018 authorities had vowed to double the number of toilet facilities for the carnival following complaints from revellers – and residents – about a lack of facilities.

Attendees urinating in the streets had become a frequent complaint over the years. A 2016 London Assembly report noted complaints from local residents of people relieving themselves on their homes.

MailOnline has contacted the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Westminster City Council, and Notting Hill Carnival Limited for comment.

On one side of the structure is an assembly of sheet metal, signposted ‘urinal’, in the open air, with wheelie bins underneath. This year, Kensington & Chelsea Council has installed portable lavatories in more than 25 locations along the route of the parade – which officially launched at 10.30am as part of family day today

Pictures of this year’s festival in west London show a row of cubicles which appear to each consist of two metal steps leading up to a hole above an open waste bin

The urinal seems to directly feed into the drain. In 2018 authorities had vowed to double the number of toilet facilities for the carnival following complaints from revellers – and residents – about a lack of facilities

Makeshift toilets put together from wooden shacks, open air urinals and wheelie bins that pump waste down the drain have returned to Notting Hill Carnival

There are four different styles of toilets at this year’s event – festival-style, domestic, accessible and urinal privilege, My London reports. 

The accessible toilets can be found in Tavistock Crescent, Shrewsbury Road, Northumblerland Place and Needham Road. 

Notting Hill Carnival kicked off this morning with colourful celebrations in the streets of London as revellers showered each other with paint ahead of a full day of partying.

What is J’Ouvert at Notting Hill Carnival?

J’Ouvert, from the French phrase ‘Jour ouvert’, means ‘opening of the day’.

In the Caribbean, it is traditional to launch Carnival just before sunrise, and continue into daybreak. 

Festival-goers would typically follow steelband floats and bring buckets of mud or oil to douse themselves with, in a display of mayhem and revelry.

At Notting Hill Carnival, revellers converge for J’Ouvert in the very early hours of the morning.

They celebrate the opening of carnival, dance and spray colourful paints and powders in place of the mud and oil of Caribbean tradition.

The parade officially launched at 10.30am as part of family day today, ahead of the adult’s parade on Bank Holiday Monday.

From 6am, festival-goers gathered in the neighbourhood for J’ouvert celebrations, which means opening of the day, as they sprayed brightly coloured paints and powders to get into the carnival spirit.

People clad in various costumes and adorned with flags filled the street to mark the start of the world-famous event, which is returning to the streets after three years of online celebrations during the pandemic.

The opening ceremony began at 10am, with the children’s parade kicking off at 10.30am. Today is the carnival’s family day, with the focus on an inclusive environment for all, regardless of age.

After a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event is making its in-person comeback today and tomorrow, and revellers have taken to social media to gush their excitement.

The parade today will include a 72-second silence to remember all those who lost their lives in the Grenfell fire disaster in June 2017, taking place at 3pm. 

Attendees on social media say it’s a ‘dream’ to be back in Notting Hill for the carnival – with others adding it is ‘just so great’ to be able to celebrate with friends again. 

Yesterday, revellers flocked to Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, in west London, to watch a curtain-raiser featuring five steel bands – Mangrove, Croydon Steel Orchestra, Ebony, Metronomes, and Pan Nation. 

Defending champions Mangrove have won for three years in a row, and member Joelle Gardiner, 34, said: ‘It is hard to put into words how good it would feel to win tonight.’

‘I have been coming to carnival ever since I was six or seven, watching people play until I was at the age where I could get involved as well.’

Meanwhile dancers were preparing their costumes while shops and houses are boarded up in preparation for the world-famous event’s return.

Colourful floats and parades will fill the streets, as huge sections of west London are closed from 6am today until 6am on Tuesday.

Carnival participants and organisers remember the 72 people that died in the Grenfell fire in June 2017


Thousands of people are expected to line the streets today to watch the progression of the parade and celebrate Caribbean culture

Children are taking centre stage at the parade this morning, as Sunday has long-been a family orientated-day at the carnival

Thousands of people throng west London streets as they follow the parade or simply celebrate being together

Saxophones take centre stage in this group’s musical numbers – and these are some of the less dramatic headpieces expected from today

At 3pm today and tomorrow, a 72 second silence will be held to remember those that died in the Grenfell fire, organisers said. Those behind the carnival will also be wearing green in a tribute to the tragedy.

The carnival has asked the participating bands and sound systems to participate in the silence so that the local community can pay their respects. 

‘We stand by the Grenfell community and support them wholeheartedly,’ event organisers said on social media. 

The event is hugely popular and has been known to attract an astonishing two million people in years gone by – grinding a whole section of London to a halt. 

Carnival participants have said they are looking forward to feeling the bass of the music and seeing their creations ‘brought to life’ as the event returns to the streets of London.  

The return of carnival was exciting for spectators as well as participants and people of all ages were dancing in the streets on Saturday.

However, Notting Hill residents and business owners are fearing the damage that could be caused by the huge number of people at the carnival and have boarded up buildings in advance.

Although enjoyed by the huge crowds that turn up to revel in the carnival atmosphere for the August bank holiday weekend, many are worried about the path of destruction the parades might cause – bringing the neighbourhood into a new lockdown for the long weekend.

The sheer number of people arriving in Notting Hill can cause a headache for local businesses, many of whom have boarded up their windows days in advance for fear of vandalism during the festivities.

The west London neighbourhood is one of the most expensive areas for shops and homes in the UK, with an average house price of over £2 million, according to property website Rightmove.

Although the local council said it did not recommend boarding up windows during the festival, many homes and businesses have taken matters into their own hands to try and prevent any damage.

Restaurants, cafes, shops and multi-million pound houses across the festival area have covered up their windows and doors to avoid any damage caused by the massive crowds passing by.

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