Croydon Council’s new recycling and waste collection service has been met by criticism from residents across the borough.
The new service will see the introduction of two additional wheelie bins per household, with 75 per cent of households getting a new collection day.
Elizabeth Ash, a local community activist opposed the new service and raised concerns over the standardisation of bin sizes.
Ms Ash said: “The new system is not doing anything. Some roads are lined with bins and its an absolute eye sore.”
Ms Ash said that residents who had previously requested the smallest bin size available from Croydon Council, were now being forced to have a landfill bin the same size as her old medium-sized bin.
“People have been in contact with the council to say we don’t want a bigger landfill bin we can’t use the capacity in the smaller bin and they’ve been told they have to have it”
Ms Ash said that for many residents who previously did not recycle, the new system was confusing and chaotic.
“I watched somebody a tip a full food caddy into their recycling bin for plastics and glass, contaminating the whole lot.”
Some residents took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.
One user, Joe Ingram, complained about the increased number of bins across the borough:
This is madness, everywhere you go in Croydon all you see now is wheelie bins. More bins than people. What are you doing to the place????
— Joe Ingram (@JoeIngr58490660) September 2, 2018
Another user, Sam Jackson wrote:
Why the hell do I need 4 wheelie bins and a food waste bin???? I have family of 4 not 14!!!! Completely unnecessary and literally takes up half the front garden. #Croydon #CroydonBinChaos #croydoncouncil pic.twitter.com/wDvkDWbBc6
— Sam Jackson (@sawmule) August 31, 2018
Others complained about the organisation of the bins during the switch over. One user, Leigh Armstrong wrote:
Our new bins were delivered six weeks late and only twelve hours before bin collection and it’s been an absolute nightmare . I woeful tale of abject incompetence by Croydon council @yourcroydon @CroydonAd . Constant lies, woeful comes and an abject service .
— Leigh Armstrong 🚢🏇🏻👨❤️💋👨 (@leighfarmstrong) September 5, 2018
As part of the changes, those who live in houses have received a new 240-litre paper recycling bin and a 180-litre general waste bin. Their existing landfill bins will now be used for mixed recycling of plastics and cans.
The council’s new service comes after a bid to keep the borough’s streets cleaner and aims to boost Croydon’s recycling rate from 38 per cent to 50 per cent.
The council also predicts the new service will save £5 million per year, which will be used for other council-run services.
Croydon has seen a surge in flytipping in recent years, which was also a concern raised by Ms Ash. She worries the increased number of bins on the streets may increase flytipping.
“Because many can’t store the bins inside their property, people who are passing by are filling their bins. There’s no way to fine people if they contaminate bins.
“There’s a real issue with flytipping in Croydon. Now, you can pop your old suitcase into anybody’s bin.”
Local activists are also worried about how this will affect elderly people.
“Old couples now have this huge bin to lug out, and they are not even filling it,” said Ms Ash.
Greenpeace Croydon coordinator Clive Farndon welcomed the changes and said it would help keep streets cleaner.
“Recycling is always a good idea, and Croydon as a borough did lead the field a decade or so ago. They have increasingly less resources to boost recycling so they have to think of what is most cost effective.
“We welcome these changes as a step in the right direction; it will result in less litter and more efficient collection.”
Mr Farndon said it would help those collecting rubbish. He said:
“It’s helping the guys at the frontline collecting the rubbish quite a lot. The previous recycling boxes had plastic lids and if they weren’t placed on the box correctly, paper would get blown down the road.
“That’s important from a Greenpeace point of view because we don’t want to see it blown around”.
A Croydon Council spokesperson said: “There will be some unforeseen challenges as the new collections begin and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused.”