BINMAGEDDON!: It’s not costing £2.3m. It’s costing £2.3m

Recycling boxes, made from recycled plastic, now discarded as surplus to requirements

KEN LEE, our Town Hall reporter, on the latest feeble effort by Croydon Council to try to justify its rubbish service and the impact of #CroydonBinChaos

It’s official. The new bins being imposed on households across the borough, from Coulsdon to Upper Norwood, are not costing Council Tax-payers £2.3million.

Oh no. According to the council’s deputy leader, the new bins are costing… £2.3million.

Stuart Collins is the council’s cabinet member responsible for doing the bidding of Veolia, with the haphazard roll-out of the wheelie bins, introduced mainly to make the council contractors’ job easier and to cut-down on their sloppy work on bin days, when our streets are all-too-often strewn with rubbish as they drop the contents of the old-style recycling boxes.

Last month, Inside Croydon revealed that, according to senior council executive Tom Lawrence, the new, smaller wheelies for recycling are costing Croydon Council £2.3million – or nearly half the supposed savings provided by the troublesome new system.

Lawrence is the “head of environment and leisure”, in charge of implementing the switch of recycling from boxes to the unwanted wheelie bins, so he really ought to know.

Stuart Collins: he done his sums, and they still add up to the unwanted wheelies costing Council Tax-payers £2.3m

But now, Inside Croydon’s loyal reader has been in touch to say that, according to one of the Town Hall’s most senior councillors, that £2.3million is all wrong.

They have passed on to us an emailed response they received from Collins, after they asked about this £2.3million being spent on the unwanted and often unnecessary new bins.

This is what Collins wrote. Unedited. Lewis Carroll would have been so proud…

The new system is not costing tax payers anything, it costs £2.3m pounds to purchase the new bins from our capital budget, the saving already agreed with the South London Waste Partnership and is in our annual revenue budget is £5m per year.

So a saving of £2.7m in the first year and after that £5m per year that will be spent on vital services.


So it’s “not costing tax-payers anything”, but the £5million annual saving is being reduced by £2.3million.

So that’s alright then…

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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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3 Responses to BINMAGEDDON!: It’s not costing £2.3m. It’s costing £2.3m

  1. Dave Scott says:

    This week we had our first collection of paper recycling – Originally with the boxes the binmen lifted the box and put the rubbish into a larger wheelie bin, when full that went on the back of the lorry. Now they have to take an individual wheelie bin and take that to the lorry, or as I noticed,lift it and tip the paper into a larger wheelie bin and then dump my wheelie bin back on the pavement. Life expectancy of new wheelie bin – not a lot before the wheels and other bits fall off. A bit like the new totally stupid ill thoughtout bin arrangement.

  2. Terrence John Gunner says:

    Our collection day in Silverwood Close was to be Tuesday 3rd Sept. It is now Thursday evening and every house still has their bins outside awaiting be emptied. To make it worse we have every day received an email from Croydon Council in response to our complaints, telling us the bins will emptied “tomorrow”. We cannot wait for the next Council elections.

  3. Our collection went OK, though I never did establish why Veolia sent us a letter about an extra collection when our weekly cycle was the same and there wasn’t any three week plus interval to address.

    I remain puzzled as to why for years we had ‘black’ bins for non-recyclables, yet now they are to be used for the mixed recyclables they are being described as ‘grey’ and illustrated by photos of mid-grey bins unlike any bins I’ve seen around here. Perhaps someone somewhere really believes they are a mid-grey colour and not a near enough identical shade of black as the new non-recyclables bins, making it hard to tell the difference (especially as for many of us they are the same size).

    The first time I dropped my mixed-recyclables into the wheelie bin I also noted an incongruity between the distance glass containers now have to fall and the request/demand to not include broken glass.

    Given the particular recycling scheme in use (separate paper/card and mixed recycling, separate food waste and garden waste), I prefer the new wheelie bins. I’d have liked them more if the blue bin was smaller, the old bin had been retained for non-recyclables, and the new bin had a green lid.

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