Thousands of households could be without a bin collection, and the streets unswept, during a two-day strike by up to 2,000 Harrow Council employees.
Public sector union UNISON is holding a nationwide walkout on Wednesday and Thursday next week over a proposed below-inflation 2.45 per cent pay rise offer.
Services affected by the stoppage will include social workers, benefit officers, refuse workers, teaching assistants, cleaners and surveyors, although Union officials have agreed exemptions for certain employees, such as cemetery workers, meals on wheels staff and those working in children or nursing homes.
Harrow Council expected there would be no waste collection for the 34,000 families whose wheelie bins would normally be emptied over the two days. Several libraries will shut, although no schools are anticipated to close.
A Harrow UNISON statement said: "We would like to express to residents that the decision for strike action has not been taken lightly and is in no way centred toward the borough's residents or council service users.
"We would like to remind residents that as many UNISON members also live in this borough and face the consequences of rising costs and hyperinflation, a below inflation offer would effect the economic contributions they make to the local economic infrastructure."
Councillor David Ashton (Conservative), leader of Harrow Council, said: "It is for UNISON members to decide their own positions in this dispute, although Harrow Council obviously regrets the fact the unions have felt strike action to be necessary.
"If this strike goes ahead it will potentially cause disruption to council services like bin collection and schools. Harrow Council, like other local authorities, is making contingency plans to ensure disruption is minimised and services are kept running as far as possible."
UNISON is asking for a one year pay increase across the board of six per cent or 50p an hour, whichever is greater.