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.
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.
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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