CROYDON COMMENTARY: As the council begins the ‘roll-out’ of its new wheelie bins, at least one resident, IAN HUNTER, thinks he has found a way to avoid being forced to triple the number of bins on the narrow pavement outside his home
I hold an exemption letter from Croydon Council allowing me not to hold a wheelie bin on my property as the property was deemed unsuitable for wheelie bin collection.
It’s something I shall be waving under the noses of the council officials at their information “roadshow” at the Whitgift Centre.
The letter, dated September 2005, the last time the council tried to impose wheelie bins on a property unsuited for their uses, states categorically: “I can confirm that your property has been re-surveyed…”, yes, they claimed then to have done a property survey which had found our home suitable for their wheelie bin, “… and is unsuitable for wheelie bin collection.”
Our home, and the pavement outside, has not altered in any significant manner in the interim period, so what makes Croydon Council, and Veolia, think that it is suddenly capable of accommodating three times as many wheelie bins as they found it was unsuitable for in the past?
The space at the foot of my steps (I am above the road), amounts to 28 sq ft, room for a box (2.3 sq ft), on top of which I place my food caddy. On the weeks when the paper waste is collected, I place out my black bag (4 sq ft) for landfill. This leaves plenty of room for visitors to pass. Once the rubbish has been collected I take back, up my steps, the now empty box and caddy – no problems.
Under the council and Veolia’s proposed, imposed, new arrangement, all three new wheelie bins have to remain at the foot of my steps. Since they take up at least 4.8 sq ft and their handles project some 2 ft 6in into the space, they will leave precisely 1ft 6in of usable access for visitors, postmen with packages, delivery men, milkmen and family visitors with baggage, as well as myself (not exactly slim), and my wife, who has mobility issues.
Other neighbours on our street, which is not untypical of residential roads in our part of Croydon, have even narrower entrances to their homes.
When asked recently about the Veolia “borough survey”, Stuart Collins, the council cabinet member responsible for the policy, admitted that to do a house-by-house survey to accurately assess the need would cost a lot of money.
Wouldn’t spending that money on accurately surveying properties have been better than what Veolia appear to have done, and have been paid for, not just by Croydon but by the three other boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership (Sutton, Merton and Kingston) caught up in this farce.
I would like to know:
- Will my exemption be recognised?
- If it is, will that mean the refuse lorry which comes to my street will have a list of such exemptions and look to the status quo by ignoring the redundant wheelie bins I shall leave on the pavement to be collected by the council?
The amount of domestic waste I create generally only half-fills the blue and green boxes so, when I see the council officials, I expect them to say whether the 3.5 cubic waste I fill their wheelie bin with every two weeks will stay there because it wastes time (and therefore money) to collect the small amount which will be left until the bin is filled to their satisfaction.
Perhaps one of Inside Croydon’s loyal readers can answer a further question. I wonder what the legal consequences might be if all householders who do not want these new wheelie bins clogging up their properties were to consign them to where they belong: the bin?
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