A Croydon Council project that has led to 70 tonnes less rubbish dumped outside shopfronts on one of the borough’s main roads is set to expand into South Norwood.
In July the council restricted the time of day that West Croydon businesses in London Road were allowed to leave their commercial rubbish out for private waste collectors because it had attracted fly-tippers and was untidy.
As a result, so far council contractors have recorded almost 35 tonnes less rubbish left in front of shops on the Thornton Heath stretch of London Road, over 20 tonnes in West Croydon and another 20 tonnes in Norbury.
Now Croydon Council is set to expand the scheme to Portland Road in South Norwood from 1 December, and other areas will be considered over the coming months. As with London Road, council officers will begin sending leaflets and doing door-to-door visits in advance to both inform Portland Road businesses and encourage them to get involved.
Enforcement is led by council neighbourhood safety officers, who already regularly visit London Road shopkeepers to check they both have a commercial waste licence and are following the new rules.
Emma Conroy, who works at Steve’s Flowers in London Road in Norbury, says the situation has improved. She said: “There aren’t piles of stuff by street bins, and there aren’t boxes and rubbish piled up as much as we used to notice. It shows it is working and the rules are being followed.”
Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon
“Commercial waste left on the pavement is ugly and encourages fly-tipping, so I’m really pleased we’re getting businesses to be more responsible and help make their areas tidier. Having over 70 tonnes less rubbish on our streets also means fewer trips to the tip and frees our contractors to do more proactive work, and I look forward to South Norwood also benefiting from our scheme.”
The council’s time-banded waste collection scheme was trialled in April with 100 businesses along Thornton Heath high street. This saved over £6,000 in fly-tip disposal costs alone as a result of businesses having to keep their commercial rubbish on their premises until the 6pm collection time and ensure they used a licensed waste carrier. Business owners also reported the high street as being tidier as a result of their trial, which is now also permanent.
The Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign combines getting local people to become community champions with enforcement against the worst offences. As well as prosecuting over 120 people in court since launching the initiative in summer 2014, the council has also signed up more than 300 community champions who lead litter picks.