Opinion with Cllr Steve Albon: Happy greener, cleaner Christmas 

Picture the day after Christmas, will the recycling bins be even more overflowing with cardboard? Will the ground be littered with mountains of empty boxes from all the Christmas toys, gifts and online delivery boxes?  Will extra empty packaging be dumped by our local traders?

Our teams are routinely faced with irresponsibly placed rubbish. Whilst some people make it to the recycling centre, many do not use the bins correctly and the ground is used instead. Boxes then become contaminated and cannot be recycled and to clear them away is costly to the district. 

On a windy day, loose rubbish will blow around your neighbourhood and rot in the December weather, causing a mess and polluting the environment.  

What’s more, it’s a criminal offence to leave rubbish on the ground and you could be entering into an expensive New Year with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400 and court costs on top. 

If you turn up to recycle your unwanted packaging at a recycling site and there is no space left, what should you do? Below are some top tips ahead of the festive season:

  • Use your red recycling bag/bin provided by Thanet District Council
  • Break down boxes to fit into the bin / bag  to maximise space for others
  • Take items back home if the bin is full until it has been emptied or book a slot at the waste and recycling centre
  • If you are a licensed trader, use your trade waste bins only
  • Think before you buy products, reuse items if you can
  • Contact us for help and advice by emailing email [email protected]
  • Report littering and fly tipping offences at https://www.thanet.gov.uk/services/clean-streets/ 
  • Only use a licenced waste carrier and do a quick check on the Environment Agency website www.GOV.UK to find a licenced waste carrier. A legitimate waste operator will be happy to show you their licence. Be suspicious and wary of anyone who will only take cash payments or who advertises on social media sites
  • Book bulky waste collection – a council run service –  by calling 01843 577115 https://www.thanet.gov.uk/online-services/bulky-waste-collection/

Benefits of getting it right:

  1. Saves energy
  2. Reduces landfill waste
  3. Protects wildlife
  4. Better for the economy
  5. Helps fight climate change

Please let’s work together and think about beginning a greener, cleaner 2021. And a good starting point is disposing of your recycling responsibly and avoiding further expense. 

Thank you for keeping Thanet clean and disposing of your packaging responsibly. Together we can keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy. 

Happy Christmas,

Cllr Steve Albon


  1. The instructions may be fine but your bin bin men half the time don’t empty small street bins and large euro bins most times they just drive past. There should no reduction in collections and street cleaning at any time especially this time of year. Does your bin men do an eight hour day that tax payers are paying for or are they going home early and still getting paid for eight hours.

  2. My bin was emptied this morning but as my neighbour’s bin is broken on the lid half of her waste was blown on our lawn and the bin men totally ignored that and it’s hard to pick up when you are partially disabled

    • My lid was ripped off during collection and it took TDC 8 months to replace, not just the lid but complete new bin and they do not collect the damaged bin unless you put another call in and reqyest its collection. Surely something so simple should not be so complicated

  3. The domestic rubbish collectors have done a great job keeping going through the pandemic and the majority are conscientious, work hard and do their best in difficult circumstances. My only gripe is the food waste collection. Yet again our food waste bin was missed, whilst the recycling was collected fine. We are now stuck with this waste for another week. As the brown bin seems to be getting missed more frequently we are considering giving up on it and black bin wasting it. This goes against our wish to recycle as much as possible.

      • And rats Paul! I don’t have food waste either, living alone if I have any left over, its down the toilet with it! We always know when the Bin men have been on Red bag day, because the road gets covered in paper rubbish by them not emptying the bag properly!

        • Fair comment Dumpton , I said garden but what I do is chuck it on my garage roof or my bird table about an hour before dusk and its gone , mainly seagulls , I not keen on them tbh as used to attack me when I used to work up a ladder but they have to eat. I try not to drop any on the ground because my dog would eat it and unsure if all is safe for him.
          I do have another motive , my dog barks no idea where he got that habit from lol, not often , my neighbour has complained to the dog warden “dogs should not bark”. She hates birds and I have to be quick in case I get the gull squd round.
          I dont have a paper problem with the bin men, its the disabled people who have to use the road because they cannot get past the empty bins on the pavement.

  4. Deep, deep irony. The streets are filthy as there are never any street cleaners around, dog poo bins and litter bins unemptied at the same spots time and time again. The entire coastal stretch between Ramsgate and Broadstairs reeks of dog poo. Thousands of missed bin complaints covered up by the waste and recycling team as they are not categorised as actual complaints so their statistics always look better. Someone once told me if they miss an entire street’s bins it only ever gets counted as one complaint even if everyone phones up about it. Never mind, here comes Councillor Steve Albon, previous TDC senior manager, to perpetuate the myth that this is all the householders’ fault.


    How about a New Year’s Resolution to actually clean the streets and empty all the bins you are meant to? You would be amazed at the difference it would make.

    • I can’t remember seeing a street cleaner in St Lawrence in months. I used to see an older bloke who did a great job. The only people I see are the army of litter pickers or RTC. TDC just aren’t visible.

      • Was that the man with a carrier bag , bags ?. I used to see a man every day picking up rubbish , newington rd. not seen him in months.

    • It is simply not true that “the entire coastal stretch between Ramsgate and Broadstairs reeks of dog poo”. What on earth is the point of making gross exaggerations which are easily refuted?

  5. All my neighbours are still waiting for new lids on their wheelie bins after them breaking off in the back of the wagons whilst being emptied despite calls to TDC all year and a local councillors attempts too. Some have been waiting two years. It seems TDC waste and recycling are happy for continued complaints as they do nothing to rectify the situation in Cliftonville, so seagulls are are born and bred turfing bags out of bins and ripping them open so the trash is blown everywhere in all residents gardens and the sea. What a rotten inept council we have in Thanet.

    • Another year to go then, I waited three years , You will know when it is being repaired because you will get two men , one will be on his phone the other sending text messages.

      After about 30 mins one will come and place the bin onto a lift up truck and bin will be taken into the back.

      The driver does not move as keeping warm with the engine running.
      Mine was only a stopper that could have been sent in the post.
      Due to the time taken they can only fix eight a day. No wonder people dump their rubbish.

      To be fair I have never had a problem with collection they out in all weathers and collect mine about 6 AM in the morning so must be up about 4 , but I think they have done their eight hours.

  6. How about asking ALL Party representatives, from local Councils to the MPs, whether they support a policy of restoring the kind of Rate Support Grant that central government used to give to local Councils to pay for most of the Council services.
    Even now, most local Councils get most of their money from central government as the local Council charge is far too low to give us all the services we need.
    Until central government goes back to properly supporting local Councils, there will be no improvement in street cleaning, public toilet provision, bin collections, etc unless we fancy a really BIG increase in the Council charge to pay for it all. Thought not!
    After all, we either pay for things out of Income tax, or VAT/purchase tax, or through local Council charges. If the government reduces the money coming to the Council out of Income tax or VAT, and the local voters won’t support any Party that would increase the Community Charge, then something has got to go. Bin collections, Police numbers, Youth Clubs, Libraries, pot holes in the road, council house building, public toilets, museums, pavement repairs, bus services etc.
    They can’t keep on cutting the money and then claiming to provide all we need. Eventually, we need to think outside the box. Or, rather, stop trying to find flaws in our own local Council and look at ALL the local Councils in the country, all struggling to maintain skeleton services with reduced resources.

  7. After many years of requesting recycling bins at Arlington House they finally arrived a couple of months ago . Hoorah ! The sting in the tail was that residents were to have to pay an additional charge p/ annum for this service in addition to the council tax ,until strong objections forced a climb down by the council and common sense prevailed so we thought. However instead of being provided with large commercial bins for the recycling we have been provided with a dozen or more far smaller domestic bins for the recycling.
    This is plainly ridiculous given there are 142 households in the block wishing to recycle their cardboard ,paper ,plastics ,bottles ,cans and other recycling in an orderly manner.
    Why is it that TDC are incapable of delivering public services to a satisfactory standard regardless it seems which political party is in control ?
    Perhaps komrade keefogs above provides some explanation to our present malaise .

    • Really? Clearing the debt the country was left with following disastrous Labour government I would suggest is more accurate observation.

  8. Unfortunately TDC has very little civic pride. It should be split back into 3 seperate authorities as before.

  9. Christmas, its not unusual for additional packaging material to be around at this time of the year.
    Summer, there is more demand on beach area rubbish%recycle collection with bins regularly overflowing.
    Tdc just need to be more proactive when their facility’s are not coping with seasonal demand.
    its not the depositors that are at fault, Tdc need to update their card&paper recycle collection policy.
    Maybe tdc are using historical ideas re paper&card recycle, dating back to the days when only newspaper and light small cardboard was the norm. Tdc please catch up.

  10. You should see all the piles of fly-tipped rubbish today at the community bins in Cliftonville. It’s absolutely horrendous. And now the gale force winds will be blowing it everywhere. Why couldn’t TDC keep the service going over Christmas? They knew this would happen but don’t give a flying fig !

  11. TDC pay a subcontractor ( Biffa for example) to manage our local tip. They then put restrictions and charges in place ( barriers, type of vehicle, size of trailer, type of rubbish, weight and quantity etc) to prevent as much as possible local council tax paying residents from using the facility, therefore residents utilise the TDC recycling areas for all types of their rubbish regardless of quality and quantity and also without getting barked at by someone in a HiViz. This means TDC are paying twice to sort rubbish and the sub contractor does less for their fee. Fly tipping costs hundreds of thousands pa to manage and our streets look like your pictures.

  12. All valid comments, some are a little biased. The “Employer” Contractor or local authority should regularly check the performance of the rubbish/recycling collection, I have seen large ammounts of rubbish dropped and left.
    However, the public make many areas adsolutely disgusting, dog poo,discarded dog poo bags on the pavement, thrown next to bins and slung in heaps behind the green BT boxes, litter, gutters are full of soil, leaf litter and general rubbish, fly tipped rubbish.
    Someone in Richmond Road feeds segulls and foxes with food on paper plates, which then are scattered all over the place.
    It’s filthy, disgusting, stupid and irrisponsible morons who cause the problems.
    It’s allowing houses to be turned into multi occupancy dwellings that is a contributory cause. That situation is needed, people need a home, but it is nontheless a primary issue with mess, parking and the inability of the local authority to bring in the street sweeper truck.
    The general situation as described, is increasing in its severity, will continue to do so and will expand over a greater area.

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