Mrs Ed and I noted their absence today - I then spoke with another local regular recycler who commented on the nonsensical approach of Southwark ... fail to empty the bins on a regular basis, they overflow, this is seen as flytipping therefore the source of the problem (ie bins utilised by enthusiastic recyclers) is removed.
I think the problem was the businesses from Bermondsey Street using the bins for their recycling and, in some cases, just for waste. I know a couple of people who live on the estate and they said the businesses would dump recycling there late at night - not only an abuse (business recycling is not covered by domestic schemes), but also noisy for residents. I guess it finally got too much. I don't see why the council couldn't tackle this with the local businesses, though, rather than remove the facility for residents.