BINMAGEDDON!: 1% missed collections thanks to Crap App

Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, reports on how the council is using some dodgy stats to cover for its rubbish service

Welcome to the paradise that is Croydon, where only 0.68% of bin collections were missed in September and October

The latest effort by Croydon to align itself with North Korea, where everything is perfect because the Great Leader says it is so, came at a recent meeting of full council in the Town Hall chamber.

There, Stuart Collins, the Labour-run authority’s cabinet member for street cleaning, fly tipping and environmental issues, got on to his feet to provide an update on his controversial new system of bin collections, after he had chosen to spend £2.3million on equipping the borough’s residents with new wheelies that few of them wanted, or needed.

Collins told his fellow councillors that the switch-over to his cost-cutting new bins system by the borough’s rubbish contractors, Veolia, was going super-well, and that only 0.68 per cent of households had reported missed bin collections since the system changed at the start of September.

That’s right, just


In a borough with more than 150,000 households, that suggests that in the first two months of Veolia’s new fortnightly collection rounds, they had missed collecting the bins from barely 1,000 houses.

Does that sound too good to be true to you?

Collins’s assertion went barely challenged by the slumbering Tories in the opposition seats.

Mr 0.68%: Stuart Collins

Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that Veolia’s performance is far less good than Collins sought to portray it publicly. Local press reports have highlighted some households who had their rotting rubbish festering on their doorsteps throughout September and October.

Inside Croydon has been privy to several pieces of correspondence, sent to Collins and council staff from residents in different parts of the borough, each email on behalf of half a dozen or so homes, who have endured missed collections by Veolia for up to six weeks…

So how was Collins able to make such a claim?

Probably because Croydon Council has made it almost impossible for Council Tax-payers to report missed bin collections.

Good luck reporting a missed bin collection with this

The council’s preferred means of reporting fly-tips, abandoned vehicles and dead cats is the Don’t Mess With Croydon smart phone app.

This is Crap App 2.0, having replaced the original, notorious and dysfunctional Crap App, which was scrapped earlier this year after costing Council Tax-payers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Having reduced the number of call centre staff and reduced the hours in which the council’s call centre operates, it is now extremely difficult to get to speak to a member of council staff. Emails to the council usually get a reply, eventually.

Collins and the council leadership never tire of stressing that Crap App 2.0 is the best way for residents to report problems to the council.

Conveniently, for them and for Veolia if not convenient for the public that they are supposed to serve, Crap App 2.0 has no category for reporting missed bin collections.

Hey presto, 99.32 per cent satisfaction with bin collections.

The people in Pyongyang would be so impressed at such civic “efficiency”.

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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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6 Responses to BINMAGEDDON!: 1% missed collections thanks to Crap App

  1. Our general waste bin collection day is Friday. We have to keep our bin padlocked otherwise it gets filled up with everyone else’s rubbish and unrecycled recycling (we live in West Croydon) and we have nowhere to put our own small amount of general waste. Hence our bin was still padlocked on THURSDAY when Veolia arrived to empty the bins. I can’t decide whether this is over or under efficiency, but nevertheless it’s still a missed bin collection.

  2. Gwen Lawton says:

    But even if you use the website to report a missed collection (like my blue bin this Wednesday) you can’t do it until after 6pm. When I went to try to re-report it this morning – oddly, despite the info suggesting this would be resolved the next working day – there was no response when I clicked the button.Presumably because it isn’t after 6pm. Though it is in terms of when it should have been emptied.

  3. In the words of Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    Collins and Co. seem to be taking this literally.

  4. Nick Mattey says:

    Have the North Koreans made a formal complaint to you after being compared with Croydon? We should be told .

  5. mikebweb says:

    Well, generally speaking, from my perspective the new collections have gone well except for the “DUMPED” empties. If a bin is missed then after 4pm you can report it on line, and, yes, that system does work as I have tried and tested it, once. If you are able to get on line then it is quite simple to use
    I have correspondence from the council saying they DID agree to remove all the old, unwanted, boxes in two weeks in September, but have had to extend this – no reason given. So now it is, what 8 WEEKS and they have still not been taken away and by simple one hand arithmetic the council call at every property every two weeks, so why? I have asked and await an answer.
    Reading the council web site, bins are required to be kept within the property, so, one has to ask, why are they left by the council all over the pavements, even in conservation areas? Why in these same areas are the old boxers left full of rubbish on the pavement? The general; view is that if you leave them there, they will get used to dump rubbish, so, remove them and two problems are solved in one go.
    1,000+ bins a week are left unemptied, and we are proud of it! WOW!!

    For those with long memories we are approaching the time of the year when the collectors usually found some reason to knock at doors as they passed by; one no longer wonders why they dont do this any more!

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