Bank holiday sunshine brings visitors – and rubbish – to isle beaches and proms

Visitors flock to the beach at Broadstairs Photo Frank Leppard

Glorious bank holiday weather has brought crowds to beaches across the isle – boosting trade but also resulting in rubbish being discarded on Thanet  bays and proms.

Despite Thanet council doubling up on weekend litter picking schedules, complaints have surfaced on social media of overflowing bins and piles of trash strewn on beaches.

Cleaning and litter collections from beaches, proms and streets costs Thanet District Council £1.9m per year.​ Last year council staff collected over 5,642 tonnes of rubbish.

Last month Thanet council announced litter teams would be making rounds twice a day at the weekends, but it appears even that has not been enough to tackle the issue even though staff were working throughout the holiday weekend.

.One resident took these photos of rubbish at Botany Bay yesterday, saying: “Thanet District Council’s promise of doing twice daily rubbish collections around busy beach areas looks no more than a pipe dream.

“As you can see from the photographs the rubbish around both beach access areas is disgusting. This rubbish has been there for over 24 hours and I have seen rats foraging amongst the rubbish early this morning.

“To only provide one jumbo wheelie bin at each entrance along with two household size wheelie bins beggars belief.”

Pictures on social media also show the build up at the bay.

Bottles and cans were also thrown into the pond at Ellington Park in Ramsgate yesterday (May  6) with yobs also pouring milk into the water and a group left behind mounds of rubbish at Joss Bay.

Ellington Park trustees have stressed that the mess will be cleared and will have no impact on the upcoming May fair on May 20, which will have stalls selling a variety of goods, live music on the bandstand, a fun dog show, steam train rides, stalls and games of all kinds, funfair, beer tent and food stalls and lots more

All proceeds towards the regeneration of Ellington Park.

Beaches across the isle have been packed this weekend with thousands of visitors enjoying the sunshine. Rubbish has resulted from bins already filled to capacity but also from people leaving their trash dumped on the ground.

At work in the baking heat Photo Thanet Conservative Party

Thanet council steps up collections in the Summer season in a bid to keep beaches and proms clean for the essential tourist trade and residents but recent hot spells have seen the isle packed to capacity, piling on the workload for the street cleaners.

1st Westgate Beavers help WAR on a litter pick

Isle residents have been digging in to do their bit this weekend with litter-picks across the isle, including by youngsters of 1st Westgate Beavers who turned out in force  yesterday to tackle litter on the beach.

Six members of Westgate Against Rubbish (WAR) also litter picked the greens, the town and surrounding areas. Twelve bags of rubbish were collected.

Volunteers from The Ramsgate Society also carried a clean up of the town yesterday.

To report litter and overflowing bins to Thanet council click here

Why a clean isle is essential -Thanet tourism in numbers

Photo Brian Whitehead

Research by Visit Kent published at the end of 2016 shows the last collected data (new data due November 2018). This covers 2015:

3.9 million trips were undertaken in the area

3.4 million day trips

 0.5 million overnight visits

2.1 million nights in the area as a result of overnight trips

£250 million spent by tourists during their visit to the area

£21 million spent on average in the local economy each month.

£122 million generated by overnight visits

£119 million generated from day trips.

£293 million spent in the local area as result of tourism, taking into account multiplier effects.

7,312 jobs supported, both for local residents from those living nearby.

6,403 tourism jobs directly supported

909 non-tourism related jobs supported linked to multiplier spend from tourism

Tourism and tourism related jobs are 17% of all jobs in Thanet

It is estimated that 34% of total trip expenditure was spent in the retail sector.

Approximately 27% was spent on food and drink

16% went towards the cost of accommodation.

Approximately 12% went on visits to attractions and other entertainment.

The remaining 11% was spent in the transport sector.

Are there enough bins?

A Thanet council spokesman said there are more than 400 bins across the district – around one every 200 feet.

52 x large 1100L public bins

240 x street and dog bins

120 park dog bins


  1. The Council needs to stop giving figures out trying to justify itself but start putting enforcement officers on the beaches and promenades on weekends and Bank Holidays, they do it in other areas and cover their outlays so why not in Thanet. It would show that we have a bit pride in the area. The same should happen with the Parking Wardens along the seafronts and promenades enforcing illegal parking. It beggars belief the low standards we have come to expect from our visitors and of the Council too.

  2. Ramsgate beach was a joy yesterday. Many, many people enjoying our fabulous beach. Great to see a new beach bar open too. But the state of the bins! Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish. What an absolute mess and eyesore. I took a number of photographs and will be sending these to Council Leader Bob Bayford this morning. Wake up TDC! We need our tourist trade and we need our local beaches fit for use.

  3. We suffer the same problems every year but nobody at TDC seems to learn from one year to the next !

    Rubbish was piled up along Margate seafront – even the sacks of rubbish collected by the beach cleaners. Clearly there needs to be many more 1100 L (commercial type) bins and the bin emptying needs to be more frequent.

    Pavements on the seafront and surrounding roads were blocked with parked cars – some were parked three abreast. TDC (and local Council Tax payers) lost out on substantial sums of money because no parking tickets were issued.

  4. The same thing every Bank Holiday – they are in the calendar, how about at least drafting in extra staff and bins to cope at peak times?

  5. Its like this with rubbish everywhere everyday in Cliftonville. Half way down Harold Road are some flats and this has massive wheelie bins that are overflowed all over the street everyday..have to walk in the road to get by. The flats are exclusively populated by immigrants.

    • It would be nice to see a well-thought-out argument with helpful suggestions rather than a blatantly racist generalization.

  6. I know it was bank holiday but where was the enforcement officers, and the traffic wardens? I was working yesterday, a lot of people were, how come wardens and enforcement got it off?

    I know of a large fight on Margate beach, no available police officers available via CCTV Radio, only the cameras to keep an eye.

    I have CCTV from my premises of numerous people reversing down the wrong way down a one way street just to avoid traffic build up, also people dumping their cars on double yellow lines all day causing yet more traffic chaos, and this is because the cars parks are now too expensive.

    Maybe next time its a lovely bank holiday, employ more litter wardens, get the police out on foot around the towns and beach areas, and have the traffic wardens and enforecement officers out patrolling. The revenue from the tickets will more than pay for them.

  7. There needs to be more bins on the actual beaches rather than having to carry the rubbish onto the car park or promenade as seen people will just leave it rather than taking it to the bins. Also they need emptying more often not just the beach bins the bins in dane park are often full and over flowing.

  8. What are the council doing? Incompetence! Their policy is the opposite of what is needed. We need more bins to encourage people to use them. They are actually removing bins from Broadstairs. Bins have been removed from Victoria Gardens and from on the beach. Both areas that generate loads of litter. I just don’t understand their logic! Can someone from the council post an explanation?

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