CROYDON COMMENTARY: Purley resident PENNY SCOTT says that she has not had her household refuse collected on schedule since 2018
We did receive the council’s leaflet detailing the changes to our household refuse collections over Christmas. But my general waste bin was not only not emptied on the right day over the Christmas period, it is never – and I mean never; I’m not exaggerating – emptied on the right day.
I am on what is laughingly referred to as an “assisted collection”, although how Veolia or Croydon Council imagine they’re assisting me in any way is hard to fathom.
An assisted collection is provided (theoretically) for people who can’t leave their bins or boxes at pavement level for the dustmen to collect.
I live in Purley. There are 27 steps between my front door and the pavement and there is no space for any bins at the front of the property. Some years ago, I broke my hip, which makes carting my conventional dustbin (not a wheelie bin) from outside the back door to the roadside problematic at the best of times, and impossible when it’s dark and icy.
So I leave the bin and relevant boxes and food waste container about three-quarters of the way down the front garden the evening before the dustmen are due.
The crew (or crews) who collect the paper, card, bottles, tins and food waste recycling don’t seem to have a problem with our address. It is the crew who have responsibility for clearing the waste bin who ignore it every week.
I gather from the council that, after three consecutive missed collections (and there have been a lot of those), the problem is “escalated”, but to whom and with what result, I can’t begin to guess.
I have, over the past two years or so (since the service was changed in 2018, when the situation really kicked off) had visits from at least three members of Veolia management, all of whom professed themselves unable to see why there should be a problem. Join the club.
The bin was cleared by someone on December 22 by 11.30am (I was out, so didn’t witness the event), only for another crew to turn up at 1.30pm, to clear the bin…
This week, of course, no one has turned up at all. The bin has been missed again and is still uncleared at time of writing, which has necessitated yet another “missed collection” report to the council.
One of Veolia’s favourite tricks is to report to the council that a bin has been cleared (even when it hasn’t). Apparently, the council then can’t then send them out again, despite being told by the householder that the bin hasn’t been touched, never mind emptied.
Who’s calling the shots here?
Several weeks ago, I made a formal complaint to the council regarding the situation and used their web complaints form to request a ‘phone response, as I wanted to deal with someone in real time. I’m still waiting for that call.
After the last revamp of services in 2018, it took Veolia almost 18 months to get their act together for rubbish collections here. The number of emails between myself and the council, my local councillor and the council, council managers and Veolia is almost beyond counting. But I’ve kept them all.
Can someone explain to me why I should have to go on putting up with this?
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