Last year's major shake-up of bin collection in Croydon achieved a nine per cent increase in the borough’s recycling rate.

Since the overhaul in services, which introduced new recycling-only bins and collection dates, there have been widespread reports of collection delays across the borough, with some residents waiting as long as nine weeks.

The scheme was designed to bring the borough’s cycling rate to more than 50 per cent by September 2020 - it currently stands at 48 per cent.

Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean, green Croydon, said: “This phenomenal increase is thanks to the dedication of our residents.

“They’ve embraced the new recycling system and it’s great to see it is already paying dividends.

“It was challenging to introduce the new collection schedule and I’m grateful to all our staff who worked hard but these positive steps show it was all worthwhile.

“With a little more work over the coming year there’s no reason Croydon couldn’t recycle the highest proportion of waste across London.

“Recycling as much as possible will help us tackle the climate and ecological emergency Croydon and the rest of the globe faces.”

Most homes in Croydon were given a new blue-lidded 240-litre wheelie bin for paper, along with a 240-litre wheelie bin for plastic, metal and glass, giving them significantly more space to recycle.

Collection services are contracted out to private waste management company Veolia.

Reports of delayed collections have been widespread in 2019, with residents complaining of rubbish being left to rot on streets and in flat blocks for months.

Residents of Purvis House, Cromwell Road, told Croydon Guardian of how rats infested their shared bin area after Veolia failed to turn up for nine weeks.

Croydon council claims changes to 75% of residents’ collection days made the system “more efficient” across the borough.

The changes to household waste and recycling collections are among a raft of initiatives being introduced to make the borough greener, changes made more urgent by the declaration of climate emergency in July.

More than 1,000 people in Croydon have objected to plans for emissions-based parking permits in the borough, which could see some drivers pay nearly four times more.

The policy was described as a ‘stealth tax’ by 19 per cent of people who responded to a consultation.

The emissions-based charges would see people with electric cars only pay £6.50 for an annual resident parking permit.