This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 30/07/2018.
Some love them, others hate them but everyone has an opinion on Croydon’s new bins
We took to the streets to speak to residents who are happy with the new bins and those who are definitely not.
You may love them, you may hate them, but it’s highly unlikely you have no opinion whatsoever on the new bins which virtually everyone in Croydon is getting.
They have started to be dropped off in different parts of the borough and some residents are far from happy.
Croydon Council is introducing a new waste collection system in September which means households are getting new wheelie bins.
The council hopes it will increase recycling levels from 30 to 50 per cent and save £5 million a year.
But scores of residents in smaller properties have protested at how much space the new bins will take up.
Councillor Stuart Collins has called on residents to get behind the scheme, stressing that the new bins take up just 22.5 inches more space than the previous ones.
When we visited Purley we found that some residents with front gardens of a reasonable size felt that if the bins increase recycling levels then it is a good idea.
But Mary Holmes, of Whytecliffe Road South, who has a set of stairs leading up to her house, said: “I personally think for a small house like this they are ridiculous.
“They are a nuisance. It would be different if it was a big house with a big front garden.”
The 62-year-old added that she does not think her household of two would be able to fill the new larger recycling bin.
Over in Montpelier Road Gareth Freedman, 34, says he doesn’t mind the bins as he has space to keep them in his front garden.
He said: “The main issue for people is space but the council obviously feels there is a need for it.
“We tend to have quite a lot of cardboard and plastic so I think we will fill it.”
In the same road 67-year-old, Robin Edwards said that since the bins have arrived they haven’t bothered him.
“We have got the space for them but my wife thinks it’s made the place like a bin store,” he said.
“We do sometimes have too much stuff to fill the recycling box so I think we did need more space.”
But Mr Edwards doubts the scheme will increase recycling in the borough.
“I wouldn’t think it would make that much difference,” he added.
Shirley Chantrell, 74, has lived in Green Acres near Lloyd Park since the 1980s.
She was shocked when the bins arrived before 8am last Wednesday (July 25) and tried to insist the company dropping them off took them back.
Ms Chantrell lives in a row of houses off the road with no front gardens so the new bins are currently lined up on the pavement.
“They are too big for us and we don’t want them,” she said.
“The council isn’t listening to us. We haven’t had anyone come here and look at the space.
“I don’t even fill the small bin, how am I going to fill these big ones.
“It is not safe to have them on the walkway and I would like to see the dustmen get past the bins.”
Elizabeth and Danny Harris were also surprised to see the size of the bins which were delivered to their front garden.
Mrs Harris, 76, said: “I am very proud of my garden, we’ve have spent money and time making it nice.
“I don’t want these two bins there – it spoils it.”
Mr Harris, 80, called it a “ridiculous situation” and feels there was no need for any change.
He said: “The council, without prior consultation, arbitrarily imposed two huge wheelie bins on our forecourt, defacing our quite pretty front garden.”
The council insists that the general views of residents were taken into account when a contract was awarded to Veoila to run recycling and rubbish collection services in Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston.
A statement on the Croydon Council website explains: “Research into Croydon residents’ views and perceptions of waste management helped the boroughs to agree on the broad principles and evaluation criteria for the new service before asking the market to offer the best solutions.
“This research showed strong and consistent support among Croydon residents for our drive to boost recycling and reduce landfill.”
What changes are actually being made?
Most residents across the borough are getting new bins and new collection dates under council plans to hit a 50% recycling target.
More than 200,000 new bins are being delivered in total.
The vast majority of homes will get a new 240-litre wheelie bin for mixed paper and card.
There will also be a new 180-litre wheelie bin for general rubbish.
Existing 240-litre bins previously used for general waste will instead be used for recycling glass, plastic packaging, cans and cartons.
There will be council-branded bags given out so residents with limited outdoor space – such as flats above shops – can recycle more easily.
And there will be new collection days for over 75% of households to improve efficiency and reduce collection vehicle movements. Collections will, though, stay as often as they are now.
The first collection of the new service will be made on September 5 and residents can start using their new bins from August 22.