Croydon plans to end Veolia rubbish deal due to resident concerns

Residents have complained about rubbish piling up on Croydon’s streets. Pic: Mark Vale

Croydon Council is expected to end its rubbish collection contract with Veolia.

Veolia have been the waste management company responsible for cleaning the borough since 2017, when the eight-year contract began.

Croydon Council issued Veolia with a service improvement notice eight months ago, due to concerns over the standard of street cleaning in the area, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Earlier this year, residents took to social media to voice their concerns over fly tipping and waste dumping, creating hashtags such as #Binmageddon and #MuckyMerton.

Croydon resident, Mark Vale, said: “The whole service was sold to residents as needed to save money, but the bin service went from weekly collections to fortnightly. Street sweepers were cut by a third. Bags are left for days at a time – sometimes weeks – split open and everything starts again.”

Rubbish piling up on the street due to lack of waste collection. Pic: Mark Vale

The issues have led Merton, Sutton and Kingston, who are part of the South London Waste Partnership [SLWP], to rethink their contracts with Veolia as well. Each council’s cabinet committees plan to discuss the situation next Monday.

Merton Council has already stated that it “is set to exit its contract with Veolia Ltd for street cleaning and waste collection when it ends in 2025”. Merton also announced they will be consulting residents before forming a new contract that will begin in April 2025.

SLWC have issued a statement: “The officer recommendation, which has been informed by a comprehensive options appraisal, being presented to the boroughs’ four committees is not to extend the contract, but the decision ultimately rests with the elected committee members.”

Rubbish left in the streets. Pic: Mark Vale

A spokesperson for Veolia said in a statement: “Our essential waste collection and street cleaning services have been delivered through Covid-19 lockdowns and extreme weather conditions and we thank our frontline staff for their ongoing hard work and commitment.”

“Since the existing contract began in 2017, service requirements and the wider market have evolved substantially.

“We look forward to reviewing new contract specifications when these are available and will respond accordingly in the new bidding process. In the meantime, we are committed to continuing to deliver the best quality services to residents until the completion of the contract in 2025.”

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