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Croydon Council may bring back weekly bin collections

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WEEKLY black bin collections could be reintroduced in certain areas of the borough under plans being considered by the council.

The Labour administration says areas where it believes fortnightly collections have led to overflowing bins and increased fly-tipping will be chosen.

Weekly collection of rubbish from black wheelie bins was scrapped in favour of a weekly food waste recycling scheme by the then Conservative administration in 2011.

Under changes being considered by Labour, who came to power in May on a pledge to clean up the town, certain areas would return to the old system.

Others which have not experienced problems would still have their landfill waste collected fortnightly, explained Stuart Collins, cabinet member for Clean and Green Croydon. The changes are part of a wider review of the borough's waste collection and recycling programme.

Asked whether that would include reverting back to weekly collections, Cllr Collins told the Advertiser: "Yes, but it would be based on need.

"In areas where fortnightly collections are clearly working, then there would be no need to change it. Where it is not, and that tends to be where there's a higher density of housing and more people living in each building, then these are areas we need to look at."

Cllr Collins said the decision would be made ward-by-ward because choosing individual streets would be too complicated.

The potential changes – which would include a push on educating people about the importance of recycling – have been welcomed by some residents.

Lyndsey Hutson said: "I have three kids and fortnightly collections are not enough. I'm left with a black bin bag in my house most of the time because the bin gets filled up too quickly."

Lisa Gibbs, a mother-of-five, said: "My black bin is constantly overflowing, as are our recycling boxes. My garden is full of bin bags and recyclable rubbish. I'm sick of it.

"My bin keeps getting full of maggots and then loads of flies. It's disgusting."

Cllr Collins said the council, which must find £90 million of savings over the next three years, would fund changes to waste collection – which were said to have saved £600,000 each year when they were introduced – by making the entire system more "efficient".

One service up for review is green waste collection, which involves grass cutting, dead plants and leaves, and costs the council £1 million annually.

Cllr Collins told the Advertiser the service would continue for the coming 2014/15 financial year, but its future was under consideration in the longer-term and could be cut completely, meaning residents would have to take green waste to the borough's recycle and reuse centres. 

He added: "It's definitely not being stopped this year. However, we have £90 million of cuts that we have to make so we're looking at whether there is something different we can do with the service. We might provide it in a different way or we may stop it altogether. What we have ruled out is charging for it."

The wider waste and recycling review could lead to the end of separate boxes for plastics and paper, he explained, with one box for all types of recycling.

Its contractor Veolia, he added, will adopt a new way of working which will mean all its teams – dustcarts, street cleaners, and fly-tipping clearers – work together in teams based on smaller, more focused areas of Croydon.

Tory opposition

THE Conservatives would oppose any plan to scrap the green waste collection service, the councillor who introduced it has vowed.

Phil Thomas, shadow cabinet member for Clean and Green Croydon, said: "We introduced garden waste collection for environmental reasons and it has helped with our recycling figures. If you speak to most residents they really value that service.

"Cllr Collins claims to be the cabinet member for Clean and Green, well he doesn't seem very green to me. The Conservative opposition would be very much against any attempt to cut the service and we will do everything we can to save the service for residents.

"Yes the council has to save money but it's about priorities."

Cllr Thomas was less opposed to reintroducing weekly black bin collections but said, if the service is to change, all residents should benefit.

"You always have to review services and, if there are problems in certain areas, nothing is cast in stone. 

"But, Cllr Collins wants to introduce weekly collections for Labour wards, parts of the north. He is not interested in providing the service in Croydon Central or Croydon South. People in the south are going to be subsidising people in the north by paying their taxes for a second class service. The service should be the same for everyone."

Cllr Collins responded that if weekly collections were reintroduced they would do so where needed and regardless of political affiliation. 

Croydon Council may bring back weekly bin collections


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