The miracle of post-Christmas, as trees sprout on our streets

The scene on Abbey Road yesterday. Council Tax-payers will be picking up the bill for the tree's removal

The scene on the street corner at Abbey Road, Old Town, yesterday. Council Tax-payers will be picking up the bill for the tree’s removal

And Lo! It came to pass that, one week after Twelfth Night, the streets of the little town of Croydon, outside the city walls of London, dideth beginneth to sprouteth Christmas trees.

It was as if a host of angels had arrived by night, and planted the trees. And it was true, for they were mainly of the non-drop variety.

It was a miracle, some cried. Because they had just managed to get rid of their unwanted Christmas decoration without paying even one penny, and their neighbours and their councilmen doth paid for the service.

Howley Road. A long way from the council dump. Which stopped taking Christmas trees on Saturday

Howley Road. A long way from the council dump. Which stopped taking Christmas trees on Saturday

No one needed to be a Biblical prophet to predict the non-miraculous sproutings on the streets of Croydon this month.

It’s all thanks in some part to the penny-wise and pound-foolish policies of our council, and in major part because of some inconsiderate neighbours who clearly haven’t twigged (geddit?!) that dumping their Christmas tree is as much a fly-tipping offence as leaving an old mattress or bin bag on the street corner.

Haven’t created the circumstances in which tree dumping is almost the only realistic option for many residents, the council is almost powerless to act, because even the most CCTV’d borough in the capital has proved to be incapable at spotting all the incidents of fly-tipping conducted in the dead of night. And so Council Tax-payers are left to pick up the bill with the dead trees.

Besides, what are residents supposed to do with their dead tree if they could not get it to one of the council’s designated dumping spots?

Unless you have the use of a car, the council scheme is almost unaccessible. It is certainly unrealistic for around one-third of households in the borough, who are car-less.

On Mill Lane, the double red lines didn't deter whoever dumped their Christmas tree close to this busy junction

On Mill Lane, the double red lines didn’t deter whoever dumped their Christmas tree close to this busy junction

If, as seems likely to be the case in many instances, residents were unable to get their unwanted tree to the council site before last Saturday, then there is no where for even the most civic-minded of people to dispose of the tree properly – because January 9 was the last date that the council set for the collection and chipping of old trees.

Meanwhile, enterprising local firms, such as Treecycle, pick up the payments as well as the trees – a tenner a time for residents, who have their old Christmas trees collected from their home in the knowledge it will be properly re-cycled.

Or exactly the sort of paid-for service, provided at a lower price, offered alongside green garden waste collections, which our council could be offering as a modest revenue-generator which would also save us all money because contractors wouldn’t have to go round clearing up the resulting mess arising from the lack of such a service.

But hey, Croydon Council Tax-payers: at least we have a council that has T-shirts and slogans that announce the intention that we are the cleanest and greenest borough in the capital.

And that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Business, Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Refuse collection, Stuart Collins, Tony Newman, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The miracle of post-Christmas, as trees sprout on our streets

  1. jamie10000 says:

    It’s not the council at fault, it’s the people dumping their trees. If people don’t have a plan for disposing of a tree, then they shouldn’t have bought one. It’s that simple. Real Xmas trees aren’t a necessity, or a right.
    I’m supportive of the council ‘dumping’ these sort of services to save money. Sadly this is yet another example of how some people in Croydon are happy to turn their own backyard (and frontyard) into a wasteland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree with 9/10ths of your sentiments. But…

      It is also the council’s responsibility to foresee issues and provide some infrastructure to avoid them becoming a problem. In this case, the withdrawal of a free service, and not replacing it with a paid-for service, has helped to make the situation worse. And cost us all more money.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s an idea. Don’t buy a dead Christmas tree. Get an artificial one you can reuse or buy a live one you can either re-use or plant in the garden. Anyone caught dumping a Christmas tree should have it inserted where the sun don’t shine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If they haven’t got a car, how did they get the tree home in the first place?


    • On foot: Christmas trees are sold from many more local outlets, within a short walk of homes, than there are recycling centres, which are more widely dispersed, and away from the town centre.


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