From October 2018 there will be some important changes to the rubbish and recycling collection service for residents.

The changes will include:

  • wheelie bins for most households
  • food waste collected every week
  • other waste and recycling collected fortnightly.

We are introducing these changes because they are:

  • cleaner: fewer bags of rubbish left on the pavement overnight
  • greener: encourages recycling
  • safer: waste is contained inside a bin rather than a bag
  • cheaper: wheelie bins are quicker and easier to empty, which costs less

We will write to you before we introduce the new service. In the meantime, this page explains what you can expect.

Wheelie bins

We will provide households with:

  • one black wheelie bin for non-recyclable household waste
  • one green wheelie bin for paper and card

We will deliver your new bins to you before we start the new collection arrangements in October 2018. Further details will be provided as part of the introduction of the new arrangements.

The new wheelie bins will go alongside the two boxes for dry recyclable waste and the food waste caddy which households currently have.

If you opt to pay for a garden waste collection service, you will have a total of three wheelie bins.

Wheelie bins are cleaner, greener, safer and cheaper

Using wheelie bins and providing a fortnightly collection of waste and dry recycling with a weekly collection of food waste is cleaner, greener, safer and cheaper.

We want to provide you with a cleaner way to dispose of your rubbish and recycling. Wheelie bins help to prevent waste from escaping onto the street so wheelie bins will mean our streets will be cleaner.

Wheelie bins protect rubbish from foxes and other animals attracted to the contents of general waste sacks. This reduces the likelihood of waste being spread around our streets.

The bins will also keep paper and cardboard dry so they can be recycled, which is better for the environment. The new services encourage recycling so they are a greener method of collection.

Wheelie bins are safer for residents and the collection crews because the waste is contained within a bin. Sharp objects are safely contained within the bin.

It is faster and easier for our collection crews to empty wheelie bins rather than bags. This means the service is more cost effective and cheaper in the long-run.

If you don't have space to store wheelie bins

  • Flats which currently have a communal bin collection service will continue with this arrangement
  • Terraced properties with no front outdoor space will continue to have the blue general waste bag and purple recycling bag for recycling.
  • Residents in maisonettes who do not have sufficient storage for bins are welcome to contact the council to discuss an alternative. We will let you know closer to the time of the changes how to contact us about this.

If you can't physically move your wheelie bins

If you require extra help moving your wheelie bins on collection day we may be able to provide an assisted collection free of charge. You can apply online.

Why we have outsourced the waste collection service

Having one contractor, Veolia, collect rubbish and recycling across Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton means that we can get a better deal for you. It is set to save taxpayers an average of £1.7 million every year over an eight-year contract whilst still providing a convenient and reliable waste collection service. By sharing resources across borough boundaries there is also more flexibility in the system because if collection crew members are off sick or a vehicle needs repairing, people and vehicles can be reassigned to look after the rounds where they are needed.

Bin sizes

Both wheelie bins are 180 litres. If you use your boxes and green wheelie bin for dry recyclable materials and your brown caddy for recycling your food waste, there should be sufficient space in the general waste wheelie bin for most households.

Wheelie bin dimensions (approximate):

  • Width: 21.3" (543mm)
  • Depth 30" (755mm)
  • Height 41.9" (1064mm)

The outdoor food waste caddy is 23 litres.

Outdoor food waste caddy dimensions:

  • Width: 13" (330mm)
  • Depth: 16" (410mm) 
  • Height: 18" (460mm)

Request extra boxes

You can order two boxes per year online.


Changes to frequency of collections

Your food waste will still be collected every week, but your other rubbish and recycling will be collected fortnightly.

The new collection schedule will apply to all households from October 2018.

Practice in other parts of the country has demonstrated that we all tend to recycle more when fortnightly collections are introduced. We put less in our general waste and make an effort to recycle more. If we all make a collective effort to reduce our general waste which can't be recycled, we protect the environment and reduce the overall costs of disposing of the borough's waste. This means more money can go on services for you and your family.

Collection schedule and what goes in your bins

ContainerType of wasteFrequency of collection
Brown outdoor caddyFood waste


Black wheelie binGeneral waste (no food waste)Fortnightly
Green wheelie binCard and paper – can be put loose in the bin Fortnightly (alternating with the box collection)
Recycling boxGlass, tins, cans, plastics, cartons, foilFortnightly (alternating with the green wheelie bin collection)

We’ll make sure that every household is given the information about when their collections will be and what they can put in the different bins. We will also be putting all the information on our website and social media channels nearer the time when wheelie bins will be introduced.

Using your existing food caddy and recycling boxes

Many of you will already have a food waste caddy and boxes for recycling glass, paper, cartons, card, plastics and tins. From October 2018, you can continue to use these as you do now, except for paper and card which will go in one of the wheelie bins provided.

Putting your bins out for collection

As is currently the case, we ask residents to ensure their rubbish and recycling is put out at the edge of their property by 6am on the day of collection.


Common concerns

Whilst many people welcome the change to wheelie bins, some people are concerned by the use of wheelie bins and the fortnightly collection service. These methods and schedules of collection are common across the UK and have contributed to cleaner streets, higher rates of recycling as well as safer and cheaper waste collection. To reassure residents, we have addressed a number of the common concerns below.

Maggots, flies, foxes and other animals

The food waste bin has a lockable lid to prevent foxes and other animals from opening it. We also advise you not to leave the bin in a position where it can be knocked off a step or other high place by an animal and broken open.

Maggots will only be in your bin if flies lay eggs on its contents. Please keep the lid of your wheelie bin and food waste caddy closed so that flies cannot enter, and ensure that food waste is not left uncovered for long periods before putting it in your food waste caddy.

You are encouraged to clean your bin and food waste caddy from time to time to further reduce the risk of flies.

Smelly bins and rotting waste

If you use your food waste caddy then your food waste will be removed every week, which is the same as the current collection method. The items left in your black wheelie bin will mostly be made of non-recyclable plastic such as films and wrappings, which do not rot.

You are also encouraged to rinse your recycling to remove any remains of food. This helps to keep your bin clean, avoid smells and prevents animals being attracted to your recycling box.

If you use disposable nappies, please bag them individually and put them in your black wheelie bin. Wheelie bins keep the waste completely contained and are therefore more hygienic than sacks and reduce unpleasant smells. You may also be able to dispose of solid waste from nappies into the toilet before bagging the nappy. Washable, reusable nappies are encouraged to reduce waste.