Merton Council to end street cleaning and waste contract

Merton Council will develop a new service for street cleaning and waste collections, after agreeing not to renew the current contract with Veolia Ltd when it ends in 2025.

The decision follows a review of the contract by the council, which is also being undertaken by the three other boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership.

All current street cleaning and collection services will continue unaffected, and the council will begin an engagement programme to listen to residents’ views before commissioning a new model for services, to start from 2025.

Councillor Ross Garrod Leader of Merton Council said:

“Following the elections, this new administration took office with the aim of building pride in Merton. That starts with clean streets, which is a top priority for us.

“While progress has been made in some areas, the current contract has not performed as expected and street cleanliness has not met the high standards that we all want for our community.

“The decision Cabinet is taking today marks the beginning of building a waste service that works for our residents and businesses, and ensure cleaner streets across Merton.”

Councillor Natasha Irons, Cabinet Member for Local Environment, Green Spaces and Climate Change, said:

“This service is a top priority for everyone in Merton. Along with the introduction of wheeled bins, the current contract has helped us to achieve the 7th highest recycling rate in London, and the extra investment that both the council and Veolia have made through things like our night-time economy crews and new mechanical sweepers have begun to make an impact.

“However, the current contract has not met the standards expected by both the council and Veolia, and we must now take this opportunity to change it.   

“On Wednesday, we will launch our six-week long engagement programme, to hear from our community about what they want to see from their street cleaning and waste collection services in the future.

“Now that we are ending the current contract, we want to rebuild a service that is based on the needs of our community, that meets the environmental challenges we face and that keeps Merton clean.”

People can share their views with us in a number of ways:

Online survey: Open for six weeks from 12 October.

Online meetings: Will take place on Tuesday 1 November at 3pm and Thursday 10 November at 7pm. No booking needed.


  • A series of pop-up events on local high streets will start on 17 October until 4 November. Residents are encouraged to come along to talk to officers and complete the survey.
  • Resident groups will be offered the opportunity of a meeting to discuss issues.

Further information about the consultation, plus the link to the survey will be available from Wednesday (12 October). Visit

The council has operated its current contract for waste and street cleaning as part of the South London Waste Partnership with Croydon, Sutton and Kingston, since 2017. Phase C of the contract covers street cleanliness, waste and recycling collection.

That element of the contract will not be renewed, and services will stop in 2025, to be replaced with a new service.


Information for residents and media:

  • The contract for collecting waste and recycling and ensuring clean streets is operated on behalf of the council by Veolia Ltd, as part of the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP).
  • The SLWP includes Merton, Croydon, Kingston and Sutton, and each borough has held its own service agreement with Veolia since 2017.
  • This set of services is contained under Phase C of the contract. The council has opted to exit this element when it ends in March 2025.
  • The council will continue with the current contract until 2025, and no services will be impacted in the immediate future.