BINMAGEDDON!: Council acts quickly after Sawalha’s attack

Result: Nadia Sawalha’s intervention got quick action

Getting your bins emptied in Croydon appears to depend on whether you have a TV star’s backing, rather than reliable organisation from the council’s contractors, reports KEN LEE. Or is it just coincidence that the council acted immediately after Veolia’s many shortcomings were widely reported?

After a month of uncollected bins, with streets strewn with rubbish attracting flies, maggots and rats, and despite numerous complaints to the council’s overwhelmed contact centre from a number of residents, all it took in the end to get Veolia to actually do their job  was a 25-second video posted by a television celebrity.

Loose Women panelist Nadia Sawalha’s social media challenge, posted on Thursday night, quickly had the desired effect. Within a few hours of Sawalha’s “Sort it out!” appeal being first reported by Inside Croydon, a truck from rubbish contractors Veolia had shown up at at least one of the areas the former EastEnders star had mentioned in her video tweet.


Or is it a case of it being not how much Council Tax you pay, but how many newspaper column inches you might be able to command?

After four weeks, Veolia turn up to do their job and empty bins, thanks to Nadia Sawalha

Or how much damage you can potentially cause to the political reputation, and ego, of council leader Tony “Soprano” Newman?

So while Nadia Sawalha quickly shows she is more effective at getting Veolia to do their job than Croydon Council executives, Town Hall figures are appearing increasingly twitchy about the coverage they have been getting over the past month of #CroydonBinChaos.

Even close to home, the usually slow-responding council was prompt to act yesterday.

It was supposed to have been, after all, recycling week.

But Croydon Council had been caught with its green credentials trashed, as its recycling bins in the Croydon Clocktower were photographed taped over (with what appeared to be non-recycleable tape).

BEFORE: Recycling bins in the Croydon Clocktower, earlier in a week just as Croydon Council was telling the public to recycle more

This was just as the council was running a social media video campaign seeking to patronise residents into recycling more of their plastic waste.

Yet guess what had happened, within hours of Inside Croydon had reported this careless civic hypocrisy?

Yup… the tape had been removed from the recycling boxes outside the Clocktower CALAT, allowing them to be used for recycling.


AFTER: Astonishing what a bit of publicity can do to clean up the council’s recycling act

Inside Croydon’s loyal reader observed: “On Wednesday, two of these were blocked.

“One photo published on Inside Croydon and voila…. problem solved. Only because it was so close to home?”

Though the loyal reader had still yet to get a satisfactory outcome in their own neighbourhood. “Now what about the uncollected refuse in 17 Deans Close? The missing bins in Chichester Road and Chepstow Rise and Park Hill Road… too far from home?”

According to Stuart Collins, the councillor in charge of Croydon’s waste and plastic incineration policy, “The bin was missing the inner bins , so they were taped off to give the Facilities Management team chance to replace them, which they did the same day.

“Just our luck you happened to be in the building at that particular moment,” Collins said, after having been caught out.

So just another of those council coincidences 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!: Council acts quickly after Sawalha’s attack

  1. Dave Scott says:

    If you are a mere resident with little or no power (as I am) the council take little or no notice of you. The Leadership believe they know what is best for you.
    Meaningless consultations are undertaken so they can say they have ‘consulted’ and then the public’s views are ignored.

    I feel sorry for the long-sufferring employees of the council who have to put up with the current leaders.

    • Really, Dave? Power in Fisher’s Folly really lies with Jo ‘We’re Not Stupud’ Negrini and the band of incompetents she has surrounded herself with. The reality is that Newman and his clique went native from Day One, buying into the executive, and Whitgift Foundation’s, regeneration agenda.

      Nothing else, and certainly not the residents, matters.

  2. David Wickens says:

    Suggested priority order for Croydon Council services: child safety, elderly and vulnerable residents, empty bins, education. After that and somewhere much nearer the bottom is building private dwellings, new Council offices, investment in hotels, regeneration, increased Councillor allowances, trips to MIPIM. One for those in power to reflect on I think.

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