Residents in Cliftonville West who have to ‘opt in’ to have their recycling collected say the scheme isn’t working since changes were brought in last October.
Residents in Athelstan Road are among those in the ward who need to register for recycling collections. Paper, card and other recycling waste was collected on the same day until October when separate collections were installed for metal, glass and plastic and then for paper and card.
Resident and Athelstan Road Tenants and Residents Association (ARTRA) chairman Matt Shoul says the last four months have seen a failure to pick up the recycling with collections made from just one property.
He said: “ From October 2019 all tenants and residents received a three month schedule stating that recycling was still going to be collected weekly, but paper/card and metal/glass/plastic would be picked up on alternate weeks.
“Ever since then regular collections effectively stopped and the recycling van would pick up from the first house encountered on entering the street – No. 51 – and then drive off, with no attempt to look up and down the pavement to see who else had left recycling out for them,
“So far, no 2020 schedule has been provided for January, February and March, it’s been a disaster.”
Matt says the matter has been taken up by councillors Alan Currie and Steve Albon with help from officer Gavin Waite and finally resulted in a full collection last week but tenants are still waiting for a schedule.
He added: “Alan Currie and Steve Albon have been on this for several months now, Gavin Waite has apparently attempted to help with matters with intervention after the officer in charge of recycling had stopped responding to councillor emails.”
The opt in scheme operates in streets where a large number of properties are not easily suitable for recycling collections.
Residents receive their red bag for paper and card, plus either a blue box, or a blue lidded wheelie bin, and an Opt In window sticker.
A Thanet council spokesperson said: “There was an issue on this street with the ten households that had opted into the Neighbourhood Recycling Scheme but this has now been rectified.’
Thanet District Council must reach a 50% recycling rate by 2020 – a requirement under UK and EU law.
According to the latest government figures Thanet council has a way to go. The percentage of refuse sent for recycling for 2017/18 was 33.84% and for 2018/19 it was 36.30%.
This rate is below the national average.