It has been more than a year since Croydon Council introduced new bin collections.

At the time, a lot of people were not happy with the new addition of big wheelie bins, which they either had to find space for in their gardens or had to be stored on the street.

And after it was introduced it is fair to say there were some teething issues with missed collections.

With some streets not having their bins collected for weeks.

To find out how the past year has been, we went back to some of the people who faced problems when it was first introduced.

In some places like Green Acres near Lloyd Park, residents were up in arms when the big wheelie bins were delivered last summer.

Some residents do not have gardens so the bins were clogging up the footpaths.

But after a few weeks of back and forth with the council, it was decided that the privately managed estate would go back to the previous box bins.

Elizabeth Harris who lives in Green Acres said: “The council did eventually take away the big bins.

“When these flats were built, cupboards were built into them for the bins.

“We are now back with the boxes which fit into the cupboards.

“The other ones were so big and cumbersome but we are back to normal now.”

Heather Glynne has lived in Holmbury Grove since 1994 and said there has been problems with rubbish collection on and off for the past few years.

But things got their worst this year with sometimes three weeks or a month of missed collections, causing maggots in the bin cupboards.

Thankfully for the block of flats, things have been improving recently and Heather hopes it will stay that way.

She said: “It has got a lot better than it was, that was because I had to get our councillors involved and had meetings with Veolia.

“It has been going well now for the last two months. They changed our day back to Tuesday from Friday which works much better.”

But in Purley Jean Phipps said that collecting rubbish every other week is not working.

She lives behind a block of flats in Old Lodge Lane and says that rubbish has been piling up and she has even seen rats.

Ms Phipps says this is affecting the enjoyment of her home.

“The two-week collection is not workable here or in our own homes as when the bin lids are not able to fully shut vermin can access the bags which are then torn open all over the floor,” she added.

Another resident in South Croydon, who asked not to be named, said that her landlord has paid twice to have rubbish cleared privately following missed collections.

The Cliffe Road resident said: “The bin store is filling up again with rubbish and flies. They’re huge this time and a mask for your mouth and nose is advisable before opening the door.

“I am past the point of angry about the situation, we have been arguing for basic sanitation for 10 weeks.”

What does Croydon Council have to say? 

Last September most Croydon households were given two new 240-litre wheelie bins, one for paper, the other for plastic, metal and glass.

While about 75 per cent of residents saw their collection day change.

And according to the council, since then recycling rates in the borough have increased by nine per cent.

Now with a 48 per cent recycling rate the council is aiming to increase this to more than 50 per cent by September 2020.

At a cabinet meeting on October 21, cabinet member for clean, green Croydon, Councillor Stuart Collins, said that more than 14,000 tonnes of rubbish have been diverted from landfill since the new system was introduced.

He said: “I thank residents of Croydon for buying into the new scheme and for their patience and understanding as it was a massive operating in issuing hundreds of thousands of new bins.

“The success is highly measurable and we’ve been able to divert 14,000 tonnes which would have gone into landfill or into incineration and into recycling streams.”

But he acknowledged that there have been difficulties with the new system.

Cllr Collins added:  “Another thing our officers are doing is popping round to blocks of flats that are having difficulties recycling and looking at perhaps trying different methods and different types of bin systems

“But we are going to be very flexible about this and will trial new systems to make sure we get it right to the best of our ability.

“On the odd occasion you are going to get properties where the vehicle is either too big or wide to get in there and we have to use a narrower vehicle. Or sometimes there isn’t space for the wheelie bins.”

He added that a new system is currently being trialled in Oval Road and this is something that could happen in other areas where the current system is not working.

In these cases consultations with be carried out with residents and ward councillors.

The changes came around as part of the South London Waste Partnership, which also includes Sutton, Merton and Kingston councils. And the service is delivered by Veolia.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Since the introduction of our new collection service, Croydon has seen a significantly improved recycling performance and over 99.9 per cent of collections are being made to schedule.

“The service is constantly monitored and reviewed to meet the needs of the residents.”