#BINMAGEDDON: Council admits Veolia’s failing on the job

The situation has become so dire that residents are being asked not to report when their street’s collections have been missed

By STEVEN DOWNES

Piled high: waste collections have been missed for weeks. Today, Croydon Council issued an apology

A senior council executive this afternoon rushed out a “wholehearted apology” to residents over the increasingly unreliable service being provided by rubbish contractors Veolia, blaming the many failures on driver shortages and increased traffic.

The council’s press release, hurried out from the propaganda bunker at Fisher’s Folly late this afternoon, appears to be a direct response to Inside Croydon’s reporting on “Binmageddon”, and the worsening state of the borough’s streets, which has led to infestations of rats, mice and maggots on people’s doorsteps.

The statement issued from the cash-strapped council amounts to an admission that Veolia is failing on the job.

Rubbish and recycling collections “are being severely impacted”, according to the council, which blames not the management of Veolia, nor the contractors’ failure to plan, train and recruit, but on “the HGV driver shortage and traffic congestion around fuel stations”.

The situation has become so dire that residents are being asked not to report any further missed collections.

The council statement says, “If their road is not collected on schedule, residents are asked to not report this as a missed collection, but to leave their waste and recycling out and crews will get to them as soon as possible.”

The council promises to publish daily updates on its website, including which roads have been affected.

Sarah Hayward: apology

The council adds, “Residents should continue to report individual missed collections – where crews collect from other properties on their street but miss theirs – report [sic] the same way as usual.”

Residents are directed to click on this link to the council’s website. No mention is made of the council’s CrapApp, which has no category for logging missed rubbish collections.

“We apologise wholeheartedly to our residents for the inconvenience this is causing them – we understand how frustrating it is when waste and recycling collections are delayed,” said Sarah Hayward, the council executive director responsible.

“Please bear with us and be assured that our crews are working hard to get to you as soon as they can.

“We are working closely with our contractor Veolia to find solutions and will keep you updated.”

Read more: Questions raised over new £21m rubbish deal with Veolia
Read more: Veolia worker dies in the heat during Thornton Heath bin round


  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com
  • Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
  • Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
  • Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors

About insidecroydon

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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Refuse collection, Sarah Hayward, Veolia and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to #BINMAGEDDON: Council admits Veolia’s failing on the job

  1. Lee Malyon says:

    Why is it that it’s Sarah Hayward who is offering a limp apology for the shambles that is the “rubbish” Veolia rubbish contract? Where is Mr Teflon himself Steve Iles? He is the muppet ex council stores man who is somehow now the “Director” of this service, he treats Croydon residents with such contempt, that he leaves it to another Director to go public with this pathetic excuse, this guy really is unbelievable. He’s probably holed up somewhere rewriting their contract again so that he can give them another extra £20 million for failing miserably!!

    • Maverick says:

      Lee, unfortunately he has a reputation for doing this, I’ve mentioned in the past..when the blown stuff hits the fan he always sends the cannon fodder out to take the flak ! Another one who takes the money but not the responsibility that goes with it.

  2. CentralCroydon says:

    They always seem to have an excuse handy. I’m surprised they haven’t included Brexit again. Considering there have only been petrol queues for the last week, it is a lame excuse to excuse the piss poor performance over the last few months. They will probably have a meeting tomorrow to try and dream up more excuses that they can use next time. False black widow spider plague perhaps? The wind blowing in the wrong direction? No fried bread with their breakfast?

    It’s about time they admitted that they negotiated a crap contract with little in the way of sanctions, have put all their eggs in one basket, and have no option but to let Veolia off the hook at every opportunity. Presumably they think a crap contract costing us millions is perfectly acceptable.

  3. Marco Allsop says:

    Glad you’re covering this – bin collection isn’t glamorous but what the whole borough looks like at the moment shows why it’s important. It’s embarrassing just how much of a shit-heap this area seems to have turned into over the past few years. Please keep digging at this, as it seems like the only things that get council attention are exposes on national TV and your articles.

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    In all the times we reported missed assisted collections no one ever came and collected the left rubbish. We witnessed missed collections and asked the crew about this and got the response – what’s an assisted collection. We noted also that many residents did not have the ability to use Broadband even if the had it and were unable to report missed collections, They were told to call the council who could log this for them. Many spent hours on the phone and it was rare that it was answered in the last 16 months.
    We stopped doing this as it was a waste of time (pardon the pun).

  5. krautview says:

    Sarah Hayward: You say “… our crews are. working hard…” Who are they? Croydon employees or Veolia’s?

    Yes, it may be true there is a shortage of HGV drivers which reduces collections. But that also means Veolia is paying out less money to employees or agency workers. If the company is being paid the same fees reducing its labour outgoings, that can only mean widened profit margins. Is that being taken account of in the money that Croydon pays Veolia? i think we should be told.

    it is not good enough for Croydon to hide behind the mask of “commercial confidentiality”. Let’s see the contract Croydon has with Veolia, what obligations Veolia has and what obligations Croydon has to pay Veolia and for how long.

    Ian Keirans writes that reporting missed collection was useless, pointless and a “waste” of time. Here in Croydon North, a scheduled collection of paper and food waste due on 23 September did not take place. I reported this on the evening of that day. We and our neighbours left those bins out over the weekend and into the next week. On 30 September food waste was collected but the paper left untouched for a second week. Should we have swapped uncollected paper for bins with metal and plastics? I would have done had I been told to do so. The result is that we will have missed out on collections of both paper and metals.

    I wonder what the legal position would be if I deducted a small amount from my regular Council Tax payments.

Leave a Reply