Residents in Cliftonville street campaign to get rid of ‘overflowing paladin bins’

Paladin bins Photo Luke Mclean

A residents’ association in Cliftonville has launched a campaign to get rid of paladin bins in the street which are overflowing with rubbish spillage on a daily basis.

The eight bins are sited at each end of Athelstan Road and aim to serve properties in multiple occupation.

But Athelstan Road Tenants and Residents Association chairperson Matt Shoul  says the bins are being filled with  trash not necessarily from people living in the street and need emptying at least twice a day.

He said: “It is a daily occurrence for the bins to be perpetually overflowing, often within 15 minutes of being emptied.

Photo Luke Mclean

“ARTRA want Athelstan Road’s environment to be as civilised as all other Cliftonville West streets – it was once and this must surely be a practical possibility once more – it just needs the right strategy.

“At the moment, both sets of our end of street bins are overused to such a severe extent that they need to be emptied twice a day, everyday, and even with this level of servicing there is still an outrageous amount of mess from overspill and seagulls, so much so that it can take the TDC waste collection teams approximately 30 minutes, per end of Athelstan Road, just to clear up the mess.

“It is not an efficient system for Thanet council and horrific in terms of scavenger noise pollution and the horrendous volume of detritus that’s blown the full length of the street – daily – which finds its way into people’s gardens, basements and doorways.”

The rubbish spillage this morning (June 16) has been cleared by Thanet council staff and signs will be going up to warn about proper usage. Two new bins were installed just yesterday.  A council officer has told ARTRA prosecutions will be carried out if necessary.

Outraged resident Luke Mclean has taken a series of photos and videos of the mess, saying: “We don’t deserve to have to walk through this when taking our children to school. We don’t deserve our houses to be covered in this when it’s blown down the street. We don’t deserve to have a health hazard daily at either end of our street.

“Tomorrow morning around dawn the seagulls will come for breakfast and the food waste, used nappies, cat litter and god knows what else mixed with hundreds of fresh seagull droppings will be all over the pavements and entrance to the road until 8am-ish when they come to empty the bins again.

“This means anyone that lives on Athelstan Road and needs to use the zebra crossing or the bus stop to get to work or take their kids to school is forced to walk through all the mentioned filth and waste.

“On a windy day, all the waste blows down the entire street and into our basement flat gardens or on to the pavement. This is then left as the street sweepers have been given a policy of just “topping and tailing” Athelstan Road. This happens every day, day in day out. Even Sundays.

“Bearing in mind that we are dealing with an infectious disease at the moment this is in no way a healthy way for people to have to live.

“I commend the cleaners, I would hate to have to clear up the mess at the top of Athelstan Road daily. It must be demoralising. They are fighting a losing battle.

“Clearly the waste collection system hasn’t worked for years at the top of Athelstan Road and it must feel like turning up to an earthquake rescue mission with a dustpan and brush.”

Photo Luke Mclean

ARTRA says it is looking at alternative solutions to the paladin bins which Thanet council could consider and hopes to be able to agree a trial of a new system.

Mr Shoul said: “ARTRA will undertake a Freedom of Information request on precisely when TDC first introduced paladin bins on Athelstan Road and why the previous at home/on-site storage set-up, extant on all other Cliftonville West streets, apart from Ethelbert, the two most impoverished streets in the area, was abandoned.

“Various solutions to create a better waste management system are being explored, including using the street’s rear gardens, which all back onto the unmaintained alleyways, which were the Victorian solution to storing and collecting the street’s rubbish and which are wide enough for a vehicle as wide as a Ford Transit van, with room to spare.”

Ward councillor Alan Currie says he has been informed that this morning’s waste was household rubbish but 10 fines were issued for flytipping last week and the signage will be put up shortly warning of hefty fines for  misuse of the bins which will be caught on CCTV.

Read here: Clean Up Cliftonville campaign launched as ‘residents reach breaking point’ over rubbish and dog fouling


  1. So many of the properties in the road are multiple occupancy so what have been a traditional family residence can be divided up into 6-8 flats/bedsits by dodgy landlords.

    No one deserves to live in this kind of squalor. The alley way solution sounds workable. Let’s hope TDC can get this sorted.

    • It was and still is TDC who allow these premises to be turned into crammed HMO’s with not enough bin storage areas despite regulations not to. And the selective licensing is not working for those who live in these streets, only the council who keep the fees. If they want to stop this mess and flytipping they need to either reduce the amount allowed to live in the HMO’s by changing the regulations or clear up properly the mess from all those people.

  2. I sympathize with Athelstan road residents association
    It’s not the council’s fault about this is down to residents living area I lived in Ethelbert road for many years before moving this is not a new problem.all the roads around cliftonville west just look at the alleyway between Ethelbert road and Athelstan road that was a problem. People are always blaming the council under health and safety laws of a bin man finds them overflowed they cannot touch them because of pandemic.perhaps you need to try and educate residents to recycle there’s one in trinity Square. That would help to reduce the amount inside these bins.or ask them to wait until bins are emptied. Of course there is a lot of people who do not care.

  3. I am not sure I understand the concept of people missusing bins, does it mean people are putting the wrong type of rubbish in them (dog poo), or does it mean only Athelstan Road residents can use them. They are not labelled, as is the case in Harold Road, it simply states bagged waste only.

    I have seen migrants on more than one occasion dumping beds, tables, sofas etc next to the bins. Unfortunately these people just don’t care about the environment, they are the sort of people dropping crisp packets on the floor, and spitting everywhere.

    Surely in the first instance it would be simpler to install extra bins, to monitor if this has a greater effect. Furthermore, repairing the lids would be useful in stopping the birds from pulling out rubbish.

  4. hey Matt and local folk
    thing is
    1 we make more rubbish
    2 you have no recycling in the area so all the general waste is put in those bins
    3 the bins stink and are in my eyes infection controlled ..NO ones cleans those bins and with covid 19 you risk more infections
    4 it is not TDC fault it is Matt educating those people to realise an overflowing bin will encourage the seagulls
    5 I saw someone dumping rubbish last week in the bins
    6 make people have seagull proof bags
    7 no one cares about the mess they think it is the council who should clean up after them
    8 a residents meeting of all roads would be great Alan Currie and hope you are well?

    9 How about fresh clean bins with locked lids? Only residents in that road can access them. Put them in a gatted area and those 2 bins Matt are not enough to cope with HMO’s
    10 I have seen business rubbish in there

    I will think on it

    • Hi Rebecca

      I agree with your comments, but surely by locking the bins, it will create further fly tipping, therefore in turn, a problem created by the council.

      I don’t understand why these bins can’t be available to everyone, we should be encouraging people to use them, and add more bins, especially as the council have removed many streets bins.

      • Hi
        I overlook these disgusting bins and it seems they are already available to everyone, people dump their rubbish there from all over not just this road. I have children who wake up to mess every day so please don’t put anymore bins. Why can’t people dump their rubbish in there own bins and take the big stuff to the tip. I see them pulling up in cars and dumping staff all the time. Maybe I should follow them home and dump my rubbish on their doorstep.

  5. The paladin bins wouldn’t need to be emptied twice daily – which is the current collection frequency – if all local businesses – convenience stores, fast food franchises, restaurants, off licences, the car wash etc. – weren’t saving a fortune by having zero commercial waste arrangements in place with TDC – these local businesses fill the paladin bins to overflowing with commercial waste, leaving precious little space for Athelstan Road tenants & residents domestic waste – plus all the flats on Northdown Road & Ethelbert Terrace, who have no off street waste storage provided by their landlords, also use Athelstan Road’s 8 bins – the street is practically used as landfill by all & sundry – it isn’t right to simply put the blame on those who actually live on Athelstan Road itself – once a multi Dept. TDC meeting is arranged, ARTRA will discuss what alternative arrangements to paladin bins is acceptable to TDC, as paladin bins are a magnet for fly tipping & abuse by anyone & everyone – people even drive from miles around to empty their cars & vans of trash into these paladin bins – they have been an environmental disaster & alternatives must be found & made to work.

    • Yep thats what happens, but they’d only dump their waste elsewhere if the bins weren’t there, council should be checking that businesses have waste disposal arrangements in place.
      As to why they were needed in first place, refuse storage is a planning condition for new build and conversions, but the planning dept never check that conditions are complied with , building control don’t pay any attention as its not in their remit.
      So in some blocks refuse stores were never put in, in others after the council stopped going into them to empty them but tenants/ epresidents did’nt put refuse out for collection, landlords blocked them up to stop the accumulation of rotting waste. Council won’t do anything unless the owner is still the person that did the build / conversion. Solicitors don’t check that planning conditions were fullfilled.
      Hence the mess we have in cliftonville , part council, part landlord/developer , part resident behaviour. Sorting that out has been beyond the wit of man for over 20 years. Council would love a solution too as it costs a fortune clearing it all up.
      But so long as there is the not inconsiderable number of hard core residents that don’t give a monkeys about their waste and local businesses abusing the system nothing will change.

  6. There appears to be the same problem in Cecil Square. Observations by myself would appear different companies empty different bins. Sometimes I turn up at my bank at 08:30 to hand deliver post, only to be treated by the sight of rubbish over the pavement outside the NatWest Bank entrance, not particularly healthy for residents of the flats around the square or for Bank staff and customers.

    Perhaps the council should count the number of flats in the area’s and allow for one bag per flat per day then count how many bags fit into the TDC containers without crushing containers i.e. Cardboard Boxes, Milk Cartons etc. My personal thought is that residents of flats do not remember how to separate and crush items.

  7. Matt shoul you are right a lot of commercial businesses have been doing this for years they are supposed to pay for their own bins that can be kept locked but they want it all for free.

  8. R you are right I live not far from Cecil square. These bins are constantly overflowing. The problem there is residents living above oddesa restaurant and all the flats above all around the shops above to the old marks and Spencer shop now the empty store twenty one. Apparently whoever the landlord is only wants Romany gipsies.i believe these are two bedroom room apartments. They are overcrowded.also furniture is put there. There is no other residential properties in the square. The ones behind the old post office have bins at the rear. There is not a lot of people living there some are Holiday lets.

  9. So what am I supposed to do with my refuse?
    Increase the number of Palladian bins and increase their service (emptying) rate exponentially.

  10. More bins are needed and need to be emptied daily. I was told that the Cliftonville area takes over half the street cleaning budget. It’s all down to Maggie Thatcher’s “Dole by the Sea” polices. She turned thousands Of Seaside B&B areas into slums with her wicked ways thanks to HMO buildings and sending the unemployed to Clifftonville she did not not care where the unemployed were sent as long as they were not in her back yard.

  11. Ann

    You are absolutely correct, with all that you state.

    Also the solution as you say, is simply to provide extra bins. But, to also allow anyone to put rubbish in, this will at least cut down the fly tipping, which should have a beneficial effect on the economiics for the council.
    On the other hand, and business/company/shop caught leaving rubbish should be prosecuted.

  12. Ann I lived in that part of cliftonville for years many residents living there were working including myself and others and a large amount of retired wasn’t as bad then if people were renting from letting agents they would visit people and Check for over crowding.These days they are not checked.On my life experiences this is down to landlords.The council brought in a licensing scheme to stop this but potential tenants would lie and move more people in. Some landlords are still breaking the rules. The council like other council’s have to work on a smaller budget arrangement.Its easy to blame officers for some things that they cannot control.over the years people who moan about dole on sea are usually on that themselves. Thanet is not seperate from the rest of the UK people can live where they want.

    • I’m a cliftonville landlord and been subject to selective licensing since it started, council are not interested in overcrowding beyond saying they’re concerned. A local councillor asked me if i could help find a landlord willing to accept a family of 7 that were living in a 2 bed flat. Tenants move in, families grow. Or tenants have long term guests.
      The inflows of odd peopple started with drunks and junkies from scotland, most of those have passed away, then it was dole on sea, then area was used to house asylum seekers that arrived in kent, ia favourite area to dump released sex offenders , childrens homes, half way houses. All of which have dragged the area down, then being cheap its become popular with migrants and london boroughs looking to reduce their housing lists.
      None of which has helped to make cliftonville a nice place to live.
      Once it had established the reputation it has, large houses when they came on the market had little future than to be converted to flats or hmo’s which over theyears tdc has given permission for. Though this trend has definetly slowed recently and large single homes are/ were popular with people moving to the area usually from london.
      But like it or not the area has far too many people who don’t want to work and are quite happy living on benefits and the black economy.
      Selective licensing has done little to turn things round in 9 years , all too easy tocwalk around and spot property in awful condition but council will always find an excuse as to why something can’t be done.

  13. Why did TDC allow that situation to develop and continue ?

    TDC = Trash Dumping Continues !

  14. James central harbour are you most of South Thanet are labour councillors. They run a minority council who’s making decisions now. Really the problem has nothing to do with Ramsgate residents.They have two labour councillors In that ward the balls in their court.

  15. If they can get it right in India of all places, putting it underground then why can’t they get it right here. Sweden also has underground rubbish bins for residents. No animals are hanging about waiting for sacks to be dumped as it all goes underground until collection and it is all automated, in the way the council gets told when it’s full up so sends out the lorry. There needs to be some thinking caps being put on in Thanet so we can also get it right like other countries do, it’s not rocket science, but we need people in council who care about our area and the people who live here, then want to resolve these issues. This would be a good start at least. But this is also an area of deprivation that is one of the worst in the country so you are dealing with a lot of different issues and reasons why some residents don’t care or do not understand that dumping is illegal.

    BTW, I saw a woman travel back and forth multiple times carrying two heavy sacks each time to dump them at the bins in Athelstan Rd last thursday just after the enforcement officer in his white van had driven away. The van was driving away as she came out and started. She had a white sleeveless top and trousers on and she came from the direction of Clifton Gardens. Residents also appear many times a day from the houses between Clifton Gardens and the CCTV camera opposite Dalby Rd to dump their black sacks at the bins in Athelstan Rd. There are CCTV cameras at the junction with Bath Road opposite the Ethelbert Rd bins but they still get flytipping too, and another camera opposite the junction of Dalby Rd so surely they can train them to where all the flytipping happens and start enforcement on those caught. It is rife!

    • They don’t want to catch people , businesses maybe but not a lot of real effort. The unspoken truth is that if the person they catch is a relatively recent arrival and likely to instantly have a poor grasp of english all that will happen is at best they’ll get a letter in the appropriate language and asked not to do it again, as a result for fear of being accused of discrimination no private individual will be prosecuted. All so long as rubbish is dumped in or by the bins.
      Fly tip in a location with no bins and its a different story.
      Same applies to the police and criminality, the cost and time needed to provide interpreters , plus the leeway given by the courts for those who say they did’nt know better means its pretty much a waste of police time for all but vilolent and sexual offences.
      I witnessed and photographed an assault in dalby square ( from the screaming and shouting it was drugs oriented) took the pictures into the police , not interested in the slightest, even for intelligence / information. All those involved were clearly identifiable.
      The area has been problematic for the 30 odd years i’ve lived in thanet and no doubt will be for many more.

    • Look at the state of that empty shop in the second picture above. Filthy dangerous broken windows and mouldy england flags hanging down. TDC should be doing something about that as a matter of urgency. It has looked that way for years and they know it, but it’s in the local conservation area too. Is this what they want preserving?

  16. Local chap at least you are now saying you are a landlord. I worked and lived in cliftonville in the 70s worked in northdown road for many years worked in the lido and on Margate seafront. Many of people like me lived in that area for many years and worked hard to improve cliftonville. As a Scot myself we all didn’t drink or take drugs but there was many landlords who took advantage of their situations they never complained years ago. Some landlords we’re claiming benefit for people who did not live in their properties. Now that was a scandal. Until succsesive governments changed all this.

    • I also lived in dalby square for 7 years, but the antisocial behaviour , people in the garden , wading throuh people’s “quick tidy up rubbish” every saturday and sunday morning (bagged up and chucked on street on a friday or saturday night), bending the doors straight on my van every 6 months or so , the child brothel in arthur road, and all the other misery i saw in the area ( i could write a book you’d either not believe or make you cry) meant i decided to move on.
      There are also lots of good landlords, but its easy to give up when you’re branded endlessly as being no better than the worst, there’s no credit for offering decent well maintained accomodation at reasonable rents, a decent landlord spends more to treated the same as the worst , the selective licencing fees i’ve paid to date would have recarpeted each flat, or replaced half the boilers, a piece of worthless paper or more work done on the flats, have aguess what my tenants would choose.
      Plus the scheme does nothing to curtail the problems associated with hatherley court, glenwood hotel, or burlington place, childrens homes, halfway houses etc.
      There are plenty of good people in the area but the percentage of those that cause problems be they residents or landlords is just too many for an area to support without going into decline.
      Drug are becoming ever more prevalent and there is no appetite in the council or criminal justice system to deal with it.
      Effectively the area has become a convenient place to let many of lifes more unfortunate live as they wish , amongst their own and whilst there won’t be troubling other areas in thanet.
      King Street in ramsgate is another area going the same way, when i first moved to thanet i lived up by Boundary Rd park, king street is a shadow of what it was then.

  17. Local chap there is a lot of good landlords in cliftonville the problem I found the letting agents would never do the works expected by the landlords. I didn’t think over the years that was fair to a lot of landlords getting money out of the landlords for work not done.i also worked for the papa Adams family out of season during the winter months they run the Glenwood hotel then no problems.i believe at the time. At st Anselm’s have the road had training and residential for nuns.i believe they have moved to Norfolk road.

    • The Glenwood used to specialise in catering for coach parties of oap’s , was still doing so around 2003. That stopped at some point it changed hands and for a while was used by TDC for its emergency housing after they closed the Leslie Hotel. It was a nightmare for a while and the police should have had an office there, much more peaceful now that the council uses paramount for its emergency housing, (thoughvit costs a fortune) not sure what the hotel does now, its has some awful tripadvisor reviews. Yep the Church of St.Anselm had lots of property in edgar road and some in arthur road, when they moved around 2005? The buildings either reverted to large houses or were converted into flats. As it happens an ex tenant of mine bought one, they moved down from Hackney and think cliftonville is a charming peaceful place, so just goes to show how much opinion varies.

  18. Local chap thanks for that info I didn’t know the Glenwood had been sold some of my older friends who are still around thought it was still operating doesn’t time fly. I know about the problems with the Leslie some of us people who lived there tried to get this sorted.There was one hotel around the corner from the smiths court hotel there was problems there still taking in guests and having people sleeping on the floor.

  19. Hey Bob, this is not the National Front newsletter. Your racist comment and xenophobia is unacceptable!

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