BINMAGEDDON!: Council’s rubbish policy has ruined our street

CROYDON COMMENTARY: #CroydonBinChaos, with the imposition of three times as many wheelie bins on households across the borough, is being hardest felt by those living in smaller homes, with small or no front garden space, and by the elderly who are forced to navigate around the bins which are now strewn across our pavements, as ARNO RABINOWITZ, pictured, explains

The whole bin saga is a terrible mess.

This ill-thought-through farrago shows how, as ever with our council, when it comes within sight of big bucks, commercial might prevails. This scheme may suit bins contractor Veolia, but it doesn’t help many residents. The council’s ruling cabal has ignored the feelings and views of residents and ploughed on with a policy that is clearly wrong in so many, so many ways.

The new bins have created a huge degree of urban blight and have disfigured the whole area where I live near the town centre.

The bins have been distributed willy-nilly, to maisonettes and flats, to some houses which have no storage space, and to others who can only store the new bins if people relinquish access to much of their driveways and garages. There are useless bins all over the place.

The wheelies are far too big for most houses. Most of us where I live will, at best, fill half a bin a week. That’s an appalling waste of money and scarce resources.

The bins’ use will not increase the amount of waste going to recycling, as the council has claimed. Most people already recycle as much as they can. A bigger bin is not going to make any difference.

Nor will having a bigger bin for recycling encourage those who don’t recycle to become compliant, as the council suggests. It is a bit like me putting a big sign in my garden saying “NO SLUGS ALLOWED” and, when that proves ineffective, replacing it with another sign, twice the size, and with the same wording.

The beautiful vista on Arno Rabinowitz’s street this morning

The bins’ imposition without consultation may well be illegal as it impedes the proper and reasonable right of residents to enjoy their properties.

Property values could be affected.

It is abundantly clear that the “survey” which the council claims was conducted on every street in the borough before the decisions were reached on which roads could accommodate the bins and which roads could not was not carried out properly.

The council has admitted that the survey was not done, objectively, by the council itself, but that it was conducted by Veolia, who have a commercial interest in the roll-out of the bins to as many properties as possible, and that it was done from an office using Google Maps. It is little wonder that the outcome has been so unsatisfactory.

Much of the central areas of Croydon, such as Park Hill, consists of private estates where Google’s photography cars are denied entry. That may explain the crass inaccuracy of distribution.

The outcome is obvious everywhere: scores of bins where they cannot be accommodated, bins on pavements, bins all over the place. Bins delivered to some houses and not to others, exactly the same. It truly is #CroydonBinChaos.

When residents, like my neighbours and myself, try to contact the council for help and advice, we are given entirely contradictory accounts, depending if we manage to get through to the contact team at Bernard Wetherill House, or the waste services people at Stubbs Mead. The council’s left hand has little idea of what the right hand is doing.

Many, many local residents are very upset and angry at the dictatorial way this whole system is being forced upon them. There seems to be very little concern for the quality of life of citizens, only concern that a predetermined policy should be carried out – a typical inward-looking council action.

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9 Responses to BINMAGEDDON!: Council’s rubbish policy has ruined our street

  1. Dick Budgen says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    People in my neighbourhood are already dumping the new wheelie bins. There are a couple just round the corner which have clearly been abandoned. There are nearly a dozen similar orphans in nearby streets. Other residents who, like me, have no room for the bins, have left them on the pavement where they were delivered (in our absence) and where they present an obstruction and hazard to pedestrians.

    I have twice written to Councillor Stuart Collins, once before the bins were delivered and then again after they arrived, stating clearly that I have no room for them and asking for someone to visit my property and discuss alternatives. My first letter solicited two identical pro forma letters stating that a council official would visit, but of course this did not happen. I also emailed and telephoned the Waste (Of Space) team, but that just resulted in an assurance of a response within 14 days. That also failed to materialise. Their telephone now either is left unanswered or is picked up and then left off the hook.

    I don’t blame them – it can’t be much fun listening to complaint after complaint after complaint every day.

    All I want is the bins removed. I don’t need them and have no room for them. The present system (plastic crates) works just fine. As stated in their own leaflets, the Council will allow some residents to continue to use them, so why not any who wish to do so?

    • Malcolm Hawker says:

      This bin thing is a joke.were now blighted with bins everywhere.there a menace as I am disabled and use a mobility scooter.ventured out on it on sat for a hearing test.but got stuck twice on the pavement because the new wheelie bins obstructed my path.had to wait for passers by to remove them so I could continue

      • Malcolm Hawker says:

        I forgot to say in my previous comment.i couldn’t get on to the road with my mobility scooter as there were cars parked on pavement to and over the white line so made gap even smaller.over_white line parking is another issue.i was on a bk street so wasn’t to many people around to help

  2. Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya says:

    A few years ago, a councillor admitted that the choice of boxes may have been a mistake with flying/disappearing lids in the wind and boxes hindering pedestrians and motorists alike. I was pointing out at the time that elderly people could not lift them.

    The bins are, in my opinion, a step forward but they should have been offered in different sizes. The paper and plastic/glass bins are huge for the average family whilst the landfill bin may not suit a larger family who might have to dispose of nappies, sanitary/incontinence towels. The latter are flushed down the toilets in my road and Thames Water is in regular attendance to unblock manholes. I hope you have better neighbours!

    We have the plastic and paper bins in the front but have to store the rubbish bin at the rear of the property and are not looking forward to take it to the front in heavy rain. I am not mentioning snow because bins are not emptied when it snows!

    Our solution will probably be putting them out for collection once a month. I wonder if this is what the Council is aiming for.

    We can do that because we have the space but not everybody has so our vote is 4 out of 10.

  3. mikeglondon says:

    There are bins all down my street, too, left on the pavement where the council put them because people don’t have room for them. I have complained but not even had a letter. The council has lost sight of the fact that they are here to serve the people who are paying for all this.

  4. KarlLemog says:

    Since when has Croydon Council ever listened to the people of Croydon, whom the Council is there to provide a service to?
    the Council is run by the same Cabal, regardless of which political party s in control.

  5. Sheila Andrews says:

    New bins? What new bins? Where I live (West Croydon/Broad Green) we don’t have any new bins at all but someone has been round and fixed a label to our existing bins telling us to use them for recycling in future. No clue as to whether we’ve actually had our last general waste collection before the hiatus, so now we don’t know where to put our general waste as we have no bin for it. And on the subject of general waste, if you’ve ever been round West Croydon/Selhurst/South Norwood you’ll be well aware that most of the general waste bins are full to overflowing after one week, so reducing the size of them will only mean more rubbish piled up on the streets. It will NOT encourage people to recycle more because most don’t recycle at all anyway. Most of the existing bins round where I live have somehow lost their lids so are not fit for purpose (keeping rats out) so we are becoming overrun with vermin. Things can only get worse.

  6. Carmel Suthons says:

    Thank you Arno for verbalising this ridiculous situation so perfectly. I’m in Merton and the plastic tide is on its way here. We’re being fobbed off that it will save money. First of all, it would save £3 million. Now it’s £1.6million, and we know very well that it will not save money, because what what is the real cost for turning our Boroughs into armies of Daleks lining the streets.

    The only party gaining financially is Veolia. Why are councils so eager to protect Veolia with their terrible track record, and now pandering to the convenience of their lorries to the detriment of residents? I have lived in my borough for 36 years, and most of the time we had no problem with rubbish. We left our black bags IN the black bins and they were collected from there. Then suddenly Veolia needed us to put out black bags, so of course foxes attacked them. I still leave my bag in the bin and it’s fine. What happened to common sense?!

    Epsom have reinstated their weekly collection because of the smell and mess. We will have to return to weekly collections in the long run, then add that to the £5million spent on plastic bins (Merton) and longer term there will be no saving. Just stupidity. And that’s without even touching on the environmental issue. To add insult to injury, Councillor Collins says this is their bit to save the planet!! What about all the black bins that will now make up tons of unwanted and unrecyclable plastic across Boroughs, which were doing the job perfectly well.

  7. Mike Webb says:

    We dont seem to be making much progress with the Council over this.
    The bins remain everywhere – on the pavement piled in front gardens, even the leafier parts of Croydon are seeing people park them in their front gardens.

    A trip through West Croydpn, specificaly St James Road illustrates the point very clearly.

    Residents keep them on the pavement, the collectors dump them on the pavement, surely this is illegal, but who cares?

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