Bins are being removed from all waterways in Watford and the surrounding areas despite warnings of it being "a recipe for disaster" for pollution.

The Canal & River Trust is getting rid of bins across its entire network by mid-October as it is facing a £300 million cut in government grants from 2027, the charity said.

It comes after Watford's mayor urged it to reconsider the move in spring - with piles of litter potentially polluting local waterways if it went ahead.

A spokesperson for Canal & River Trust said: "We wrote to local authorities earlier this year,  advising of our intention to remove many bins from our towpaths.

“Following the recent announcement of a £300million real-terms cut in government grant funding from 2027, our priority must be maintaining the core fabric of the canal network, so that we can also continue to provide free access to our towpaths for millions of people.”

The charity has not confirmed how many bins will be removed but have stated that there will be “dozens” taken out of the Dacorum council area alone. 

According to the charity, most of the bins have been removed already as it is focusing on keeping the canals working and remaining free to the public.

The Canal & River Trust gave affected councils the opportunity to help with alternative funding or proposals to prevent the bins being removed, but a charity spokesperson said they are "not aware of any take up". 

Watford mayor Peter Taylor said: “This decision is a recipe for disaster for our precious local waterways. I know from dealing with litter and fly-tipping across Watford that we cannot just rely on people to take their litter home. Without these bins we could end up with a lot more litter by the canal.

“I understand the financial pressure the Canal & River Trust are under but this is the wrong solution. The good work they do across the country will be undermined by piles of litter and fly-tipping.”

Councillor Tim Williams said The Grand Union Canal runs through a "beautiful stretch of Watford for just over two miles" and removing bins is "a major step backwards" in litter management.

"We fear the accumulation of litter that will occur and the detrimental effect it will have on the natural beauty of the area, and upon wildlife,” he added.