London Borough of Croydon

Don't Mess With Croydon logo

The Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign isn’t just about tackling fly-tipping and littering, it’s also about encouraging everyone to do their bit for the environment.

There are lots of residents that are already taking pride in Croydon, such as our Street Champions and other local groups. Although you don’t have to be part of a group, you can do your bit for your area and the environment just by reducing, reusing and recycling your waste.

On average we spend £8 million each year on rubbish disposal in Croydon. If everyone did all they could to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, we could save money and make the borough a nicer place for everyone to live, work and enjoy.

We all know that recycling is good for the environment and helps tackle climate change, sometimes such massive global challenges can feel overwhelming and like you can’t make a difference. But there are small reasons and small steps that you can take to help with the bigger picture. Here are some of the reasons why our local residents recycle:

Richa

Lives in a maisonette house in Addiscombe, East Croydon with her husband and daughter aged 10. She uses a green and blue box for her recycling. She also regularly recycles her food waste using a small caddy on the countertop and outdoor caddy to keep the liners in once full. She stores her blue box in an outside cupboard and her green box inside.  Richa

“I don’t have the space to store both the boxes in the outside cupboard. It’s easier to have the green box inside as I can wash out my plastic milk bottles and put then straight into the box rather than sort them out from the kitchen bin.

I’m from India and it’s really easy to recycle there as you only need to separate wet from dry, here it’s really different, you have to separate so many more things. But I think recycling is very important, I consider it an opportunity to do a bit to heal Mother Earth after all the damage we have caused to it. Once you get in the recycling habit it becomes like second nature. I recycle everything I can, I even remove the plastic film from things like sandwich packets so I can separate the cardboard for recycling.

I cook twice a day for my family and I recycle all the food waste, none of it that can be recycled goes to landfill. Even the tea bags! We traditionally make tea over the stove not boiling a kettle and my top tip is to keep the caddy close by, it’s so quick to take the sieve and put the tea bags straight into the food waste!”

Find out more about what you can recycle.

Pete and Angela

Pete Live in a kerbside house in Thornton Heath, they use the green and blue boxes for recycling, recycle their food waste using a caddy and are subscribed to the green waste service to recycle their garden waste. They store their landfill bin and recycling boxes at the front of their house ready for collection day. Both are active in the community and are members of the Thornton Heath Community Action Team. Pete is passionate about reuse and makes planters out of scrap wood and wooden pallets he’s sourced from local traders. Angela uses her skills to paint and decorate his creations.

Pete: 

“Everything is usable and you can produce things for free! It’s important not to destroy the environment. Your rubbish doesn’t have to be waste – all it takes is a little bit of time and effort to create something else that you can use again. The planters I make are all from scrap wood and they help to make the neighbourhood look brighter and feel nicer. My top tip is to just try it and see. Instead of sitting down to watch TV, get out and make something, it’s a great feeling. You can always watch your show later on catch up!”   Angela

Angela: 

“We’ve become such a throwaway society so it’s important to me that things are found locally and used for the benefit of the community. We’re adding to the community by making our area more colourful with the planters and flowers and by keeping it tidy. It makes it feel like a nicer place to live and there are so many ideas and people wanting to get involved once you tell them what you’re doing. It’s lovely to actually get to know your neighbours and to all work together.”

Find out more about what you can recycle.

Anne and Gary

Have an allotment in Shirley and live in Addiscombe. They use the green and blue box recycling service, food waste recycling service and compost their green waste at their allotment. They’ve always been enthusiastic gardeners and have been recycling their green waste for many years. 

Anne and Gary.`  Anne: 

“The council make it easy to recycle plastic, glass, paper etc. It's amazing how much of what we used to throw away we now put to good use. As for green waste, I’ve always had a compost bin at the bottom of the garden. It takes a while to rot down but what comes out at the end seems to be just what our flowers and veg need. With a big allotment as well, we need to compost every scrap of green waste we can and we’re lucky enough to be able to boost it with the by-products of my son’s chickens and ducks!”

Gary:

“Growing your own veg is very rewarding, especially when you get to eat the results! What you get from the supermarket can't beat something you’ve grown yourself. Good veg needs good soil, which means plenty of rich compost and making your own is easy. All you need is a suitable bin, which you can buy, or make yourself there’s plenty of advice on how to do it on the Internet. Just pile in all the uncooked veg, fruit etc that you'd normally throw away and nature will do the rest. Leave it for a few months, my top tip is to leave it as long as you can, the longer the better, and at the end you'll have beautiful nutritious compost that your plants will love!”

Find out more about what you can recycle.