London Borough of Croydon

Take pride in Croydon and help the planet


In September 2018, we introduced a new waste and recycling service designed to increase our recycling rate from 38% to 50% by 2020.


By changing the bins, bags and boxes you use for your rubbish we can take pride in Croydon and help the planet.

Read our detailed FAQs about the service.

General FAQs

Why did the service change?

We made these changes for three reasons:

  • To increase recycling - Extra space for recycling will encourage us all to recycle more and do ‘our bit’ for the planet. We want to boost our recycling rate from 38% to 50%
  • For cleaner streets - Wheelie bins will prevent spillages and stop recycling from blowing down the road on windy days, helping to keep our streets clean.
  • To save money - The changes will improve efficiency and save £5 million per year, helping us protect other vital services.

How will the service increase recycling?

Croydon is committed to recycling more of its waste than it sends to landfill. Over 70% of all Croydon’s household waste is recyclable through the current collection systems but we currently have a recycling rate of just 38%.

By increasing the amount of space for recycling and limiting the amount of space for general waste we can encourage people to recycle more of their waste and stop them from putting recyclable waste into the general waste bins.

How can the service save money when it paid for new bins?

Increasing recycling to 50% and reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste by 160,000 tonnes over 10 years will save £2 million over 10 years. This takes into account the initial costs of buying and delivering new wheelie bins and is in addition to the £5 million per year saving that Croydon Council will make through contracting waste collection and street cleansing services through the South London Waste Partnership.

Non-recyclable waste is far more expensive and damaging to the environment than recyclable waste. And the cost of waste disposal, as well as the number of households we need to collect from, is increasing. Doing nothing would result in considerable additional cost to the council.

Why did my collection day change?

In order to make the service more efficient it was necessary to reorganise the rounds into ‘zones’. This means resources can be concentrated in each area, providing cover in the event of breakdowns and minimising the amount of unnecessary travelling by the crews. Whilst the collection days changed for many properties, the frequency of collections remained the same.

What is the frequency of collections?

Food waste is collected weekly; recycling has alternate weekly collections for paper or card and plastics, glass, cans and cartons; general waste is collected fortnightly. You can find out more about the current collections at

What evidence is there that these changes will deliver results?

Councils with the highest recycling rates in England typically run a service with restricted capacity for non-recyclable general waste. A prime example is neighbouring Sutton Council. They had a new collection introduced in April 2017 and secured a recycling rate of 50% in 2018 - one of the highest recycling rates in London.

My general waste bin is smaller, can I get a refund on my Council Tax?

No. Whilst in most cases, general waste bins have become smaller, this is with the goal of recycling more. Recycling capacity is increasing, meaning the overall space available for waste and recycling is much greater than previously. This will allow us to recycle more waste, which is better for the environment, and it will also save the council money, which can help us to protect other vital front line services.

I currently receive an assisted collection service, how does this affect the service?

please get in touch with our Environmental team on 020 8726 6200 or send us a message.

What consultation took place about the changes?

Specific consultation on the detail of the new contract wasn’t possible due to the way the new contract was procured by the four boroughs under the South London Waste Partnership. Research into Croydon residents’ views and perceptions of waste management helped the boroughs to agree on the broad principles and evaluation criteria for the new service before asking the market to offer the best solutions. This research showed strong and consistent support among Croydon residents for our drive to boost recycling and reduce landfill.

The most cost-effective and efficient solutions that came back through the procurement process made it clear that Croydon’s existing twin stream approach to recycling (separating paper and card from other dry mixed recycling) was preferred. Changes to bin sizes and capacity were recommended to improve efficiencies, maximise the income we can get from selling recycled materials and keep our streets cleaner. Had a consultation been conducted after the publication of the OJEU notice, this would have impacted upon the agreed and published evaluation process, compromised commercial confidentiality and would likely have led to legal challenge.

I lost the information pack that came with the new bins. Where do I find out what my collection day is?

Information about new collection days and what will be collected each week can be found using our postcode lookup.

I put the bins out for collection according to the timetable but they were missed. Who should I report this to?

If we miss your collection by mistake, please let us know within two working days. Check your date and report it online via My Account. After two days you will need to keep your waste until your next collection or visit your nearest HRRC.

FAQs about bins

What if I don’t have space for the bins?

We know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for bins, so we surveyed the borough and delivered the best combination of bins for different property types depending on the space available.

My property can accommodate the wheelie bins, but I don’t want them as they are unattractive – do I have to have them?

Yes. There are a number of advantages to wheeled bins over boxes. Not only can they store more recycling, but they also keep the waste secure and dry – reducing issues with windblown litter and spillages, and improving the appearance of our streets.

I don't produce enough waste to use the council’s collection services, I don’t need more bins, why should I have them?

You will still require the bins in order to have your waste collected. However, you are not required to present them for each collection, simply present them when they are full.

Can I buy my own bin and use it?

No, only waste collected in bins provided by Croydon Council will be emptied.

I don’t need such large bins for recycling, can I have a smaller one or continue to use boxes?

The changes we are making are designed to encourage more recycling and to create enough capacity for this both now and in the future. For this reason we chose the 240L bin for paper and card and to re-use the existing general waste wheelie bin for other mixed recycling. Standardising the use of wheelie bins as much as possible improves efficiency and helps to generate the £5m cost savings from introducing the new contract, as well as the additional £2m over 10 years for increasing recycling rates.

Do I have to share bins with my neighbours?

Possibly - every block of converted flats is different. We looked at each property individually and put in the combination of bins that would work best given the space available. Sometimes that may mean sharing bins with the neighbours in your building. Sometimes it will mean continuing to use recycling boxes instead of wheelie bins.

What if I can’t move the bins?

If you currently receive an assisted collection service, this will continue. If you don’t currently have assisted collections, but think you may struggle to move the bins (and there’s no-one in your household that can help you), please get in touch to discuss your needs. Visit for more information.

What size are the bins?

The 180L bin dimensions are:

  • Height 1064mm
  • Width 543mm
  • Depth (including hinge) 640mm

The 240L bin dimensions are:

  • Height 1063mm
  • Width 570mm
  • Depth (including hinge) 720mm

Will you collect general waste that doesn’t fit in the general waste bin or is put in the recycling bin?

No, we will only collect general waste contained within the general waste bin. If general waste is put in the recycling bin it will be identified as being contaminated and the waste will not be collected by the crew. An advisory note will be left requesting that non-recyclable waste is removed before the next collection.

Can I have a smaller general waste bin?

No, only general waste in the correct general waste bin will be collected. However, you are not required to present your landfill bin at every collection.

What if all of my general waste cannot fit inside the 180L wheelie bin?

All non-recyclable household waste must be placed inside the general waste wheelie bin and the lid kept shut. Excess general waste placed on top of or next to your bin will not be collected. If you recycle as much as you can, not only will you be helping the planet but you should also find you have enough space in the wheelie bin for your general waste.

However, if you live in a household of five or more, or have a medical condition that means you generate additional rubbish, you may be eligible for a larger bin. You can contact us on on 020 8726 6200 or send us a message.

I would like a collection calendar, where can I get one from?

If you would like a collection calendar, please send us a message.

FAQs about bags

I live in a flat above a shop, can I provide my own bags?

No, we have provided branded bags to use so these can be identified as household waste and collected appropriately. If you present waste in black bags these will be deemed to be fly-tipped waste and you may be liable for prosecution.

Where do I put my bags on collection day?

You should continue to place your bags in the same location on collection day. For some that will mean next to the nearest street litter bin; for others it may mean communal bins in a service road at the rear of your property. Just carry on doing whatever has been agreed in the past.

How will I know what goes in each bag?

Plastics, glass, cans and cartons is collected from blue council-branded bags, paper and card is collected from clear council-branded bags and general waste is collected from red council-branded bags.

FAQs about boxes and caddies

What if my food caddy is missing or damaged?

Recycling food waste reduces smells and frees up space in your general waste bin. If your indoor kitchen caddy or outdoor food waste bin are damaged or missing, you can order a replacement. Order online today via

Can I carry on using my recycling boxes?

No, recycling will be collected from the bins provided (unless you have been informed you are to retain your boxes). 

I live in a converted flat and share bins and boxes with my neighbours – what combination of bins and boxes are we supposed to use?

Although no ‘one size fits all’, most residents living in converted flats will have been given new paper and card recycling wheelie bins and general waste wheelie bins, while using existing recycling boxes for plastics, glass, cans and cartons.

FAQs about recycling

I don’t want to recycle, do I have to do it?

Yes, recycling is beneficial for the environment and also costs less than disposing of non-recyclable waste. Everyone in the borough is expected to recycle all they can to help Croydon become one of London’s cleanest, greenest boroughs.

We expect all residents to recycle their waste and have the legal powers through the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to stipulate how waste must be presented to ensure it goes in the correct bins.

Why separate paper and card from other recycling?

Items like tins, cans and bottles may have liquid residue inside so keeping paper and card separate keeps it clean. Separate wheelie bins for paper and card will also help to keep it dry. Good quality paper and card can be recycled into a wide range of high quality paper products. Lower quality paper and card can only be recycled into things like tissue paper.

I live in a flat above a shop, can I recycle food waste?

No. Unfortunately we are not able to provide your property with a separate food waste collection service.

All the recycling goes to landfill anyway, why should I bother?

This is not correct, material collected by Croydon is used for recycling. Part of the benefit of the changes introduced is that Croydon will be supplying a better quality of recycling for use as raw materials in manufacturing.


Waste Services

Send us a message through the link below
020 8726 6200
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