BINMAGEDDON!: How Veolia is transforming Croydon

The abundant blooms of roses in the front garden of a typical terraced home in Addiscombe

Croydon Council says that 75 per cent of households in the borough are having their bin collection days changed, all as part of an effort to increase recycling rates and to make contractors Veolia’s work more efficient.

Oh, and to save the council £5million a year.

That money, the council says, will be used to protect front-line services. Though many people feel that their bin collections are a front-line service.

It’s doing nothing to protect resident’s front gardens, however.

Residents have recoiled in horror at the sight of serried ranks of black wheelie bins lining the pavements of our streets.

But the transformation is impacting the look of the borough in other ways, too.

Such as this.

And how that same front garden is today, blossoming with Veolia’s wheelie bins

The front garden in the pictures on this page is the same one.

It is a “before” and “after” exercise, on the effects of Croydon’s Binmageddon.

The house is typical of many homes around the borough.

The front garden is small in area, on a row of old terraced houses in Addiscombe, but which the owners worked hard to beautify with tender loving care over many years with well-established rose bushes, fuchsias and other plants.

At the weekend, Inside Croydon reader Clare Buxton alerted us to the fate of her front garden as a result of Veolia’s land-grab.

“I tearfully dug up beautiful and ancient roses to accommodate these ugly bins,” Buxton wrote.

Buxton had just read our report on how, for residents on some streets in Addiscombe, intervention by their councillors had seen the roll out of bins rolled back, because the properties concerned were deemed not suited to accommodate the bins.

“I wish I’d seen this earlier,” Buxton said.

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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
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7 Responses to BINMAGEDDON!: How Veolia is transforming Croydon

  1. dickb4925 says:

    I had a very interesting discussion today with a friend of mine who lives in Sutton. My understandng is that the current programme in Croydon is part of a “coordinated” initiative to effect savings by introducing common practices across four London Boroughs – Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton. Why then, as Croydon residents are being forced to move from recycling crates to wheelie bins, are Sutton residents being forced to move from wheelie bins to crates ????

  2. timbartell says:

    Our wheelie bins are still unemptied binmaforgotten

    • How long is that, Tim?
      We really ought to start some kind of sweepstake – we know one road, whose bin collections due on August 20 was missed, have had no refuse collection since the week before that, August 13, and with no collection now due until September 7 (this Friday), fingers crossed.

      Can anyone beat that?

  3. Our new big paper recycling bins were emptied today, on schedule but with greater difficulty.
    As was usual with the blue crates, the bin man in high vis jacket came along with his big wheely bin in tow to each of our houses and then had to physically lift and turn over the new big blue top bin to empty it into his bin. He then wheeled his bin, now heavy with paper, to the bin lorry to be tipped into the rear of the truck.
    Having watched this new process, my thoughts were ‘why replace the blue crates ?’
    If it aint broke don’t try to fix it ?

    Each of our big blue bins was probably only around a quarter full with the two weeks blue crate’s worth of paper and cardboard, therefore after a period of time collection of paper recycling will surely be extended possibly to monthly or even longer ?
    One thing for sure though is that the bin man in the high vis jacket will no longer be able to lift and tip our much fuller big blue top bins into his bin, unless he is superman….

  4. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Surprise bins emptied on Wednesday. Notice the general waste bin is a lot smaller!

  5. Verena Windsor says:

    South Norwood or at least our street has been lucky…

    Bins emptied on the 27th old system (General waste and blue bin)
    Bins emptied on Sat 1st temp system (green)
    Bins emptied on 5th new system (blue and ?)

    We have not had the promised green stickers for the old bins, and the flats next door are still using their old bins for general waste!

  6. dickb4925 says:

    I’ve had something of a result, although how long it lasts only time will tell. The two wheelies that have been blocking the pavement outside my house for the past several weeks and which I have repeatedly asked the council to remove have finally disappeared, so I put out my blue recycling box as usual. And it was emptied, as usual. I did talk to the binmen, and asked whether this practice would continue, and they said sure, no problem. They were a bit annoyed that no-one told them there would be some properties still using the boxes (I’m not the only one), because they hadn’t brought a big bin to empty them into, but they will next week. They actually said they prefer the boxes, particularly in streets where the parking is so tight that they can’t wheel the wheelies straight to the lorry.

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