Demoralised residents in Addiscombe have appealed to the council to sort out the mess that they have created on Oval Road, where rubbish bags are left festering for days, even weeks on end, often with their contents spewing out across the street.
This constant eyesore and potential health hazard is the consequence of a council “trial”, a move which all but admits that the Binmageddon of tens of thousands of wheelie bins inflicted across the borough two years ago did not work for some Croydon streets.
Oval Road residents were written to by the council and told to expect collections of their general waste and recycling every week – double the frequency of service provided to most Croydon residents. But the reality is that the residents are now getting a far worse service than the rest of the borough.
Oval Road is made up of largely Victorian period terraced houses and was particularly blighted when Veolia, the council’s rubbish contractors, rolled out its giant wheelie bins. The problem for Oval Road was that there was nowhere for their bins to be stored except on the pavement outside their homes.
As one Oval Road resident explains, “At the start of the year we went in a trial where our plastic rubbish bins and recycling containers were removed and replaced with plastic bags of varying colours for every type of refuse. These bags are supposed to be collected each week. This is no problem.
“But then we found that all the rubbish wasn’t being taken every week.
“I had to chase the council for collection every week. Someone from waste services said that the reason for the non-collections is because the recycling was not being separated.
“But we know that recycling was being separated. It was just that no one came to take it.”
The residents’ plight has been worsened by passers-by on the street, who deposit their own waste and little on or in the residents’ refuse sacks.
“Someone added McDonalds rubbish to my bag as it sat in the street. The council appears to expect me to re-sort it back into the correct bags,” the frustrated resident said.
“I had to remind the council that we are in the middle of a pandemic where covid-19 can be spread simply by coming into contact with items that have been touched by someone with the virus.”
The promised weekly collections were not taking place, either, until residents complained to the council. “No one has a clue what is going on,” the resident said.
As the trial has gone on, the state of the street has deteriorated badly.
“Some residents on the street keep the rubbish bags in the footpath all week. Some hang it off their metal fences on the footpath. It is extremely dirty and unhygienic.
“Foxes and pests are regularly ripping open the bags.
“I am fed up of picking up other people’s rubbish when there is global pandemic. I have reported the issue several times via the council’s dedicated app. I have also logged complaints via the council website.”
The resident has also written to their MP, Sarah Jones, and to their ward councillor, Sean Fitzsimons. “No one has been able to fix the problem. Still residents keep their rubbish outside. It astonishes me it is allowed.”
And there’s no recycling going on along Oval Road any longer either – the specially colour-coded bags for recycling ran out months ago, and the council has yet to provide residents with any new supplies.
“We were told that the recycling sacks were enough to last a year. They ran out after just six months. The whole street has the same issue. I am fed up of being told time and time again we will receive bags.
“It is appalling that the council have not dealt with this.
“If someone puts a cigarette out in the street they can get fined, but when people are putting the public health at risk on their property, nothing is done about it.
“It is only getting worse. No one cares.”
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