Residents at Margate tower block Arlington House say they are suffering bin chute blockages and have accumulated piles of cardboard during a long wait for promised recycling facilities.
But there could be hope on the horizon after Arlington resident and Thanet council Cabinet member Rob Yates said recycling bins are now on order and due to arrive shortly.
Resident John Moss says that he and others, along with the residents association, have been pursuing Thanet council for several years to provide a recycling service for the 142 flats in the block.
He said: “Last year, the council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and undertook to increase recycling in the district. I renewed my appeals to the council to provide a recycling service to Arlington House.
“I pointed out that all the block’s refuse goes down a central chute and everything goes to landfill – cans, bottles, plastics, paper and cardboard as well as general household waste. I added that this was a golden opportunity for TDC to be seen to do something for the environment.”
John says TDC Cabinet Member Steve Albon was looking into introducing a trial recycling scheme for the block at the beginning of 2020 but this did not materialise and then the Covid pandemic hit.
In July a meeting was held between representatives of TDC and landlord Metropolitan Property Realizations Ltd’s management company Parsons Son and Basley, which was attended by Arlington resident and Margate Central councillor Rob Yates.
John said: “I was subsequently informed that it was agreed that TDC would provide a number of additional bins – both for the recycling of paper/card and for the recycling of metal, glass and plastic, but we are still waiting.
“In the meantime, we are suffering chute blockages caused by residents who put large quantities of cardboard into the chute.
“Several times this year I have had to remove such blockages from the chute and clear up the bin room. Even cardboard that residents put in the bin outside the side door is still not recycled – it is collected and emptied into the freighter with the general rubbish.
“The tip was closed earlier this year and that is when I started to hang on to my paper and cardboard. I have continued to accumulate it since July on the promise of the long-awaited recycling bins. I am trying to do my bit for the environment whilst I am waiting for TDC to take action.”
Fellow Arlington resident, Glenda Shephard added: “It is a crying shame that we do not have any recycling facilities here. I have previously taken my cardboard to the tip but it is not straightforward as an advance appointment has to be made for each and every trip.”
However Cllr Yates says the new bins are on order and due to arrive within the next fortnight.
He said: “As the councillor who proposed the climate emergency motion and modified the council’s four year Corporate Statement to include increasing recycling rates across Thanet, I am fully supportive of residents who want access to recycling bins.
“At Arlington House I helped organise the initial site meeting between the council and the new management company and am pleased to report that the recycling bins have now been ordered from the council. There will be both red and blue recycling bins and I expect them to arrive in the next fortnight.”
Arlington House is not a council property. About 98 flats belong to individual lease holders, 36 are retained by the landlord for private rentals and eight flats are owned by offshore company Arrowgrass