Veolia’s rubbish service ‘will stay the same’, says council

If you have been fortunate to actually receive a copy of the council’s annual waste and recycling services leaflet through your letterbox, you had better cherish it. It is the last you will ever see.

Make the most of it: the last waste collections leaflet you are due to receive

The leaflet is supposed to be provided to every Croydon household as part of the council’s multi-million-pound deal with rubbish contractors Veolia (corporate motto, allegedly, “Where’s there’s muck, there’s brass, especially while being paid handsomely for doing sod all about it“).

The once-a-year leaflet contains information on what can, and cannot, be recycled (ignoring the fact that two-thirds of all the borough’s waste is being used to fuel the Beddington incinerator), how to get your bulky waste items or green waste collected (simple answer: pay even more), and on what days you should expect the bin lorry to clatter down your street.

Much of the information, of course, is barely changed from one year to the next, which is a small blessing given the confusion and missed collections whenever Veolia decide to “rationalise” the timetabling of their rounds. Or when Christmas doesn’t happen to fall at the weekend.

But as a handy guide through the year to which boxes or bins are up for collection next, it is a small and much-appreciate service.

Somehow, as part of the council’s creeping agenda to digitise all its services and public-facing functions, the leaflets outlining services through 2022 will be the last. Budget cuts are the reason, apparently, even though the leaflets have already been paid for under an eight-year contract renewal with Veolia that was signed in 2018.

So if you live in Croydon but don’t have a smartphone or high-speed broadband? Or maybe English isn’t your first language, when a physical  leaflet and chart, bespoke to your neighbourhood, can be easier to nnavigate than the council’s notoriously clunky website? Tough shit, as far as your council is concerned.

Bin done?: Big Belly bins were bought by the council at huge cost, to save Veolia the trouble of emptying them. With predictably disgusting results

Even if you can log-on to the council website, you probably won’t find much reassurance in what emerged from the Fisher’s Folly propaganda bunker yesterday.

“Waste and recycling collections in Croydon will stay the same,” they advised, “over the festive period as Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend this year.

“Residents should put their bins out on their usual days. If you need a reminder of when your collection days are, you can find them on the council’s new online collection calendar.” It has taken the council’s well-staffed and highly paid “digital” team nearly three years to pull this online tool together.”

The Christmas tree collection and recycling service will operate again in January, with the council encouraging residents to fly-tip their streets with dying spruce from January 10.

“It will be collected at some point over the next fortnight,” they say.

“If you prefer, you can also take your tree to your nearest household waste and recycling centre.”

And they offered this piece of advice… “At this time of year, some of us will be getting new appliances and devices, but that doesn’t mean old ones need to end up at landfill. If you have older electronics, homeware, toys, sports equipment and even musical instruments, think about taking them to your local Waste and Recycling Centre where they can potentially be refurbished before ending up at our Community Reuse Shop in New Addington.

Which is something that won’t be in the leaflets that Veolia won’t be distributing in 2022…

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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
This entry was posted in Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Refuse collection, Steve Iles, Veolia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Veolia’s rubbish service ‘will stay the same’, says council

  1. Annette Carter says:

    And so the cash strapped council send out all the leaflets announcing the “no changes” by post. It must have cost £thousands in postage. Well done Croydon Council!! An email and/or announcement in the local newspapers would have been more sensible!

    • Actually, it wouldn’t have been anywhere as near as effective. And, if you bothered reading the article, it points out that the production and distribution of the leaflets was, under the original terms of the contract, Veolia’s, not the council’s. If that has been changed (to save more money for Veolia) then someone (Stuart Collins or his council director mate, Steve Iles) owes the people of Croydon an explanation.

      Not everyone, Annette, has internet access. Again, as highlighted in the article.

      And as for local newspapers, no one reads them. The Sadvertiser is now selling one-tenth of the copies it was distributing 10 years ago – fewer than 8,000 per week, in a borough of 350,000 – although its advertising rate charges, which under your scheme would be paid for by the council, remain surprisingly expensive.

  2. Lee Malyon says:

    Well said IC. However, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Dumb or Dumber (Collins or Iles) to come out with any sort of public explanation. They’re probably putting another hefty cost increase bonus in Veolia’s Xmas stocking as we speak!!

  3. John Kohl says:

    Does anyone know whether Veolia are having difficulty collecting the garden waste recycling for those who have signed up for that service? Our garden recycling hasn’t been collected for at least three months. The Council have written to us the reason is because of HGV driver shortage. We have spoken to people in environmental services several times over the last few months and not once was a HGV driver shortage mentioned as a reason for non-delivery of the garden waste service.

    • The council was pulling that stroke back in January, John, as we reported at the time:

      Thing is, if you pay a fee for a service, you might reasonable expect to be refunded your money if the supplier cannot deliver.

      We would, of course, be interested to hear from others who have paid for a council service that Veolia has failed to provide – try to include the number of missed garden waste collections, and your council ward and street.

      • John Kohl says:

        Thank you Inside Croydon. We will contact the Council and ask them to refund part of the fee we paid this year. Though we assume the answer will be a resounding “no!”

        We also had trouble with the crew who collect the general rubbish and recycling: not returning bins; or returning bins with the lids open repeatedly on days when it has rained (which has meant we have had to upturn the bins to remove rainwater – and the Council’s contractors can refuse to empty a bin if there’s rainwater in it); and mishandling our external food waste bin until the brackets that secure that bin and close it broke.

        We even had an instance where the crew took our paper recycling bin away and never returned it. We think they tore off the lid accidentally when emptyng it. But they never left a note or anything to tell us what happened to the paper bin.

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