Croydon Council has announced plans to give every household in the borough up to three free bulky waste collections each year.

Currently residents pay the council £10 every time they want up to seven items of bulky waste to be disposed of, from bed frames to washing machines. Collecting eight to 14 items costs householders £20 a time.

At the cabinet meeting last night (Monday), Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean and green Croydon, said the council plans to make three of these collections free of charge per property per year.

The council is introducing the measure as part of its Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Prideclampdown against fly-tipping. Of almost 200 successful prosecutions under the clampdown since 2015, several involved offenders who had dumped bulky waste such as furniture. White goods are also fly-tipped in Croydon by offenders dodging a paid-for collection, including one incident caught on camera involving two men fly-tipping a fridge.

The three free collections can be for up to two bulky waste collections, and one white goods collection for items like fridges or dishwashers. The council plans to introduce the new measure by this summer.

To qualify for these free collections, residents will have to sign up online to the council’s bulky waste service via My Account. This will help the council to assess which households still qualify for free collections and which have used their allowance and need to pay.

Having a more detailed register of bulky waste collections is also expected to make it even easier for council staff to investigate large fly-tips.

Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon  said:“This initiative gives a minority of residents who fly-tip fewer excuses not to get rid of their waste responsibly like everyone else does.

“This also gives an extra incentive for even more residents to sign up and join the thousands of households that already use our good-value bulky waste collection service.”

The council has separate arrangements and costs for people getting rid of commercial waste in the borough.