The vile mess Athelstan Road residents have to put up with on a daily basis

Overflowing mess on a daily basis (Photos by ARTRA members)

Warning signs have been put in place, enforcement action threatened, meetings held and pleas from residents issued on a daily basis but still the flytipping and overflowing rubbish at Athelstan Road in Cliftonville continues.

Paladin bins in place at each end of the road are supposed to be for community use by residents in the area that do not have access to a residential refuse area.

But the bins are a hotspot for continual dumping of everything from used nappies to household furniture.

And now, overnight, a huge pile of dumped goods including a settee and a bed base have appeared. TVs has also been tipped by the bins. This pile of rubbish is on top of the daily overflow and mess caused by household rubbish having to be placed on the pavement because the bins are full. The bags are then being ripped apart by seagulls and spread across the street.

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.

“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.

“ARTRA’s campaign is that all end of street paladin bins must be removed and replaced with all households reverting to their pre-2013 on-site waste storage – this is important, otherwise ARTRA will have to duplicate this ongoing campaign twice.

“All end of street paladin bins must go, or all paladin bin abuse will be focused at the Ethelbert Crescent end – doubling the disaster already here!”

Cllrs Currie and Keen, Matt Shoul of ARTRA and residents

Ward councillors Alan Currie and Heather Keen have raised the issue with Thanet council and say the Manston depot needs to be fully reopened to try and quash the rising flytip incidents.

But the measures taken so far are just not working says ARTRA founder and resident Luke Mclean.

In a post showing photos of the last two weeks Luke shows the continuing mess blighting the lives of Athelstan Road residents.

He says: “The first picture was taken today, two weeks after we notified the council (Not the first time, just the most recent).

“The second picture was taken one week ago, when we had been crying out to the council for a week for help regarding this major problem.

“The third picture was taken two weeks ago, showing the council has done absolutely zero to resolve the horrendous situation occurring daily at the Northdown road end of Athelstan Road.

“It’s quite astonishing that this is believed to be acceptable and unworthy of any kind of immediate solution during what is also a period of great risk from an as yet uncontrolled lethal virus.

“The fourth picture is a 14 year old Romanian girl sweeping our streets as the council don’t deem it a necessity despite the major health situation evolving at this site due to huge amounts of seagull droppings left daily amongst used nappies, cat litter and food waste.

“Again these would be rats if we didn’t live so close to the coast. Enough with the token gestures and fix the broken system urgently.”

Mr Mclean says the issue can’t just be blamed on flytipping and that the lack of room in the bins for the volume of household waste is the major problem.

Cllr Currie says Athelstan Road is the subject of greater enforcement action than any other area in the ward but adds that “the situation especially with the seagulls has become a health hazard.”

He says he would like to see the paladin bins removed, adding: “I do believe a decision by officers will be made about them soon as they are now a health hazard and the seagulls obviously regard this area as a feeding zone the same way as certain people treat it as an unofficial rubbish tip.

“The verdict was the problem is getting worse not better. Removing the bins is the easy part, the difficulty will be managing loss of capacity, providing rubbish disposal facilities to those who are unable to have their own bins and the inevitable rubbish dumping that will happen where the bins were situated.

“Enforcement and street cleaning will have to attend on a regular basis until the situation improves which may take some time.”

Streetscene enforcement staff have put signs in place warning of hefty fines for fly tipping following complaints that the bins are being filled with  trash not necessarily from people living in the street and need emptying at least twice a day.

Stickers have also been used stating the bins are for bagged domestic waste only after complaints of trade waste being dumped at the site and CCTV is in use.

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

Ward councillors warn of enforcement action against flytipping and misuse of community bins

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


  1. Cllr Currie says he believes officers will make a decision soon. Can someone please give this man a basic lesson in how democracy is supposed to work.

  2. Stop charging for rubbish being tipped, may solve the fly tipping all around Thanet, surely must be costing more to clean up than what is earned at the tip, everywhere you go there is rubbish eapecially where the verges are cut, why dont they arrange for the rubbish to be picked up as they cut these verges

    • Fly tippers love are when you dump your rubbish in a bin that’s not yours love how you think athelstan Road feels when you come along and dump it because you think it’s right… Your bin is full at home or you have cardboard or items that you don’t want left by the side of bins is fly tipping love

  3. I sympathize with Athelstan road residents association until the number of residents in multiple occupation you will have this problem all the time.many businesses are supposed to arrange for there own waste disposal.of course they have to pay private waste companies to remove instead they use community bins unless anybody checks if they are businesses are dumping they forget to take labels of boxes.Large furniture has come from residents this happens all around the district.

    • Nothing to do with numbers Brian
      We do accumulate a lot of waste bet most of that is plastic
      Blame packaging for that
      I’ve seen people dump tens of black sacks by the bins it’s a health hazard and fly tipping

      • Not all rubbish is dumped by tenants! Where I live there is a back ally (unadopted) which I had cleared out 8 times in five years, then gave up! The road on one side is mainly occupied by tenants, who move frequently, and its the landlords who throw out any rubbish old furniture etc left behind! I once found a Welsh Dresser in good order there, and the Red Cross came and picked it up! Yes, the only answer is to stop charging for unwanted furniture/rubbish to be taken away! Only then will Fly Tipping stop, or be reduced considerably!

  4. After all these years we can still see the results of evil Thatchers “Dole By the Sea” policy. Maggie Maggie Maggie slums slums slums. As for the rubbish remove it daily and don’t let it build up, it’s not rocket science.

    • The council are pretty good at emptying the paladin bins around cliftonville, i’ve witnesed those in dalby square being checked (and emptied if needed) 3 times between 8am and 6pm, not saying it happens every day but they do try.

  5. Thanks to tory led Kent County Council decision to charge for some waste at the local tips fly tipping has increased in thanet. The opposition Labour group warned them against this stealth tax

    • Absolutely. This reached what appeared to be a hiatus since the introduction of the charges at the tips and now has reached a crisis since ” lockdown” and closure/restrictions at the tips. Everyone, but EVERYONE, could have forecast what would happen but of course, KCC doesn’t care either. It simply switches the costs away from them on to local councils. Outrageous lack of strategic planning. But there appears to be nothing that any of we ordinary residents can do.

    • Typical leftie snowflake Barry, says “Thanks to tory led Kent County Council decision to charge for some waste at the local tips fly tipping has increased in thanet”…

      But none of the waste in any of these pictures is charged for at the HWRC and fly-tipping of now “chargeable waste” hasn’t increased since before the “chargeable waste” came into force.

      This snowflake kid needs to get a grip and stop spreading fake news… oh wait, he won’t, he’s a sleepy county councillor.

  6. I agree with Barry and local chap the council is doing a very good good job but they empty the bins up too three times a day this is fly tipping most likely by one or two companies who just pull up pull it off and gone in less than 2 minutes less if they are really good. It’s KCC putting a levey on rubbish at tips which is the main cause of this people who live in Thanet are some of the poorest in the country and can just afford to replace broken items let alone pay a minimum of £25 for stuff to be taken away. My daughter was threatened by one of the dumping people who said they would hurt her if she told anyone what she saw this was a few weeks ago now and she told me that she walked away saying not seen anything 3 times she was that scared and didn’t tell me for 2 days and only I noticed she was to quiet. I think that the council could put up some pinhole cctv self recording type like used in areas of high dumping these could be used in discreet places where they can pick up the registration of vans/cars or whoever is doing the dumping. If people are that fed up with the rubbish they will be happy to help catch the culprits.

    • The council are’nt interested in actually catching any of the people that dump there if they were it’d hardly take long to identify culprits. Bins at bottom of edgar road are clearly used by one or more jobbing builder/handyman , bins on the bowling alley side of dalby square a favourite with at least 2 fast food outlets. Both plainly in sight of cctv. Keep the cctv on the bins for a week only diverting if requested by emergency services, you’d soon catch them. Not happened yet ain’t gonna happen soon.
      Athelstan has an awful reputation for a reason always has since i moved to thanet in 87 , it houses some very problematic / willfull souls , who really don’t wish to act responsibly.
      As for the amount of plastics , its an area where you need to opt into recycling ,as the levels of contamination in what should be separated refuse meant it was pointless the council providing a recycling scheme every week for all.

    • There is CCTV but TDC says ” There is no time to review it”. So that was a quite pointless expenditure really.

  7. Rebecca hooper I lived in that part of town from the 1970s this an ongoing problem I agree a lot of plastics is a problem.when I lived there I worked to solve these problems as part of the cliftonville residents association the council did try to introduce recycling then but people did not is commone sense the more people living in one area there’s going to be more waste.

  8. I see people coming out from the houses and flats in Northdown Road several times a day carrying black sacks full of rubbish and all head for the bins on Athelstan Road. I have seeen them coming from Clifton Gdns carrying huge amounts of sacks, backwards and forwards to the bins. They must have council rubbish collections where they live in those streets. Are they too lazy to put their rubbish bin out on the correct day? There should only be residents in Athelstan Rd using the community bins, not coming from all over Cliftonville. There should never have been planning permission for all the cramped conditions that have been allowed by TDC in each ex hotel there. These homes were not designed for people living in them permanently, just for holidays, and you accept small rooms when down for one or two weeks. Now they are full all year round.
    I see the Council community bins in Northdown Rd from Wilderness towards Tesco are being abused by the shop keepers also. One without a lid outside Cliffs at 172 with cardboard from shops packaging blowing out. Other by Pound Planet at the bus stop also being abused by traders. Is it, once their own bins are full up they start using the community bins, overloading them so that the lids break off in the wind?

    • Also; The community bins in Northdown Rd have been positioned on road crossing pinch points for pedestrians making it dangerous when drivers cannot see you about to cross, and these places are for blind people to cross as they have nobbly paving so come on TDC get them moved before you become liable for an accident.
      The TV’s in the images above are not in Athelstan Road, they are in Dalby Square in case anyone was wondering, it can be just as bad there next to the Car repair shop, often with nappies and food dumped all over. The two skips are still there in Dalby Road on Pettmans Removers forecourt since last year piled up with crap and on top of each other causing another dumping ground for people fly tipping. Why has TDC not got it shifted by now? Same as the site that caught fire two years ago and the waste still being there ready to catch light again. What’s the point of all the authorities when they don’t bother to do anything within their powers given them by government?

  9. The HMOs on Northdown Road & Ethelbert Crescent are entitled to use the Athelstan Road paladin bins – alternative arrangements are needed for these households too – all of these have back yards with access to the Pettman Building alleyway, as do the Northdown & Ethelbert Crescent HMOs in the other side & other end of Athelstan Road.

    Plenty of perfectly workable solutions for all local properties, as there was back in 2013, which weren’t explored, or utilised, hence the disastrous move to paladin bins.

    Athelstan Road can no longer continue to be the neighbourhood landfill site – time for the whole area to join the civilised world & with a bit of encouragement & enforcement action for Selective Licensing & other possibly other Depts., all households can manage their own waste & the paladin-bin-fly-tipping-magnets can become a thing of the past!

    Any use of race, ethnicity, culture is entirely inappropriate & irrelevant – once landlords & management agencies have been formally obliged by TDC to make adequate waste storage provision at their properties, we can all enjoy a much more civilised environment to live in.

    Matt Shoul
    ARTRA Chairperson 2019/2020

    • Matt, read my previous replies in similar threads on this subject, nothing has changed. Wittering on repetitively achieves nothing. There are many reasons the area has ended up as it has. The behaviour of those living in the area is just as relevant as the behaviour of landlords and management agents, if not more so as the landlords and management agents are compelled by the selective licensing legislation to act responsibly which is far more than the residents are expected to comply with let alone pay for.
      It has been accepted by the council that the attitudes of sections of the migrant community is very different twhen it comes to refuse disposal. Which in the context of the problem discussed is entirel appropriate and relevant to all but those who wish avoid realities. Amazing how someone has manged to publish a picture of a young migrant sweeping, pretty sure it’d never be myself clearing rubbish, spraying weeds and washing away other peoples dog eggs.
      The ideologies need putting aside and instead get to the root of the issue, which is simply that in the absence of any meaningful sanction for acting illegally/ irresponsibly nothing will change.
      As for the notion that the facilities provided are only for certain residents, thats pathetic , its all paid for out of council tax, cliftonville costs a fortune to keep it even half way clean, to object to the rest of thanet using whats provided and subsidised by them is nothing short of daft. Be grateful you have the benefit of additional facilities on your doorstep. Ot get rid of the bins and go back to the days of random rubbish dumping.

    • When TDC were proposing the selective licensing scheme , it was said that the high number of problems and high number rented properties represented a “self evident link”. So given that AthelstanRoad has a disproportionate number of migrants living there and a disproportionate number of problems it would seem reasonable that there’s a similar self evident link.
      Without doubt there are problems within both groups , but failing to address one set of problems is destined to achieve only failure.

  10. Why dont the council ask some of the locals who live there if the council can put in some cctv in there windows and catch the Van’s etc that are doing it. I am sure the tenants would be more than willing to help TDC.
    I must admit I always thought it was the people who live there were responsible for the waste.

    • Been there done that, admittedly it was some years ago, council kept saying that if there were enough complaints they’d put up special surveillance cctv, so i offered them a room to work from. Turned out that the council had no such equipment or access to any.
      I do however know of 1 instance where the police set up cctv surveillance from a property in cliftonville whilst investigating criminal activity.
      Even further back the council trued issuing fixed penalty notices to people that were putting their refuse out at the wrong time, they stopped doing this when it was pointed out that some of the offenders lived in buildings that were recently converted and signed off by the council yet had no refuse storage , despite it being part of the planning permission.

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