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 Selected story in full
12 May 2016
Recycling chaos at Purley Oaks

From 2006 to 2014, Croydon's recycling rate went from a disappointing 16 per cent to 52 per cent - when the Conservatives left office in 2014 recycling had more than trebled when compared to when we'd took control of the Council in 2006.

We are rightly proud that our big recycling investments and sound management helped Croydon to became one of the best London Boroughs for recycling in 2014.

Sadly, this position has not been maintained by our Labour successors.

Over the past few months, queues have been growing at recycling centres across Croydon, with residents reportedly spending up to an hour waiting to deliver their waste. 

Queues at the Purley Oaks Depot often stretch from Purley in the south and to the Toby Carvery in the north, causing frustration, anger but also long traffic delays along the A235. It delays public transport, with buses often taking 25 minutes to travel the quarter of a mile distance past the site. 

Croydon Conservatives believe one of the many reasons for this situation is the scrapping of the free Green Garden Waste service, a lack of investment in this vital services and bad management by Croydon's Labour-run Council.

Comments from residents

'I work in the big building next to the dump and the queues have got so bad in recent weeks. Every day we hear people beeping and shouting at each other as a result of the delays and the junction being blocked causing queues along the A23 and stopping access to the Riddlesdown area. If the queues are this bad during the week, which is meant to be the quieter time, the weekends must be horrendous! The facilities provided by the council are simply not adequate for the size of community it is serving and they need a suitable alternative that works for everyone.'

'[The queue] was like this yesterday at 8.20am and when I went home at 10.45am - so now it's not just when it opens! Clearly the free green waste collection stopping is having what all 'normal' people knew would happen....big queues, traffic chaos, road rage (people couldn't go towards Riddlesdown (due to the cars waiting and blocking the junction), more bonfires, fly tipping from etc etc!''

'The extra money the council save [from cutting the free green garden waste service) will now just go on clearing up the fly tipping...'

'The whole point of this post is to highlight the effect that withdrawal of the green waste collection has had on the environment and the roads around the Purley Oaks centre. I often need to get through that junction in order to go to see my family and I can't because it's completely jammed by cars queuing to get into the dump.'

'What a crazy world we live in - 20 cars all in a queue. with engines running going to the recycling centre!'

'The service does not work. In fact it is making it impossible to recycle effectively. My husband has driven twice to Purley to recycle this weekend, queues have been so bad he has given up.'

We believe this situation needs urgent attention and so we are calling on Cllr Stuart Collins, the Cabinet Member responsible, to take immediate action:

  • Opening hours need to be extended at once
  • The waste depot should be open for at least two hours in the early evening during summer months
  • A complete re-organisation of the method of changing the full containers to avoid precious time being wasted when closing the centre.

A solution can be found that will help residents across Croydon. Cllr Collins must review and implement these suggestions immediately.

If you agree with us, then let Cllr Collins know your views by emailing

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