Huge piles of rubbish and fly-tipped waste waiting to be cleared from our streets

Piled rubbish in Cliftonville yesterday Photo Frank Leppard

Council bin men and street cleaners face a monumental task today (December 27) after huge mounds of rubbish were  piled up across the isle.

Mounds of waste and dumped items have been seen in Cliftonville, Margate and Ramsgate with the mess then scattered across the pavements due to high winds last night.

Waste operatives have been out clearing bins today.

Rubbish today Photo Amelia Gregory

In February a Clean Up Cliftonville campaign was launched by residents exasperated by the litter and rubbish issues plaguing the area, especially in Athelstan Road where paladin bins were continually overflowing and spreading rubbish on the pavement and road.

The large communal street bins have since been removed but issues remain with rubbish being dumped in the spot where they stood.

Photo Carl Hudson

The Friends of Cliftonville Coastline say despite a budget pledge by Thanet council to employ 10 street cleaners – which has been put on hold due to the pandemic – things have got worse not better.

The group says a “comprehensive solution to deal with flytipping, litter and dog fouling,” is needed.

This would include:

* Better signage, community engagement and education, particularly concerning the perils of pollution to wildlife.

* Free or subsidised collection services for impoverished residents and/or free regular community collections.

* The creation of a swap shop, to ensure that usable items are offered to those in need and reused by the community, rather than ending up in landfill.

* A recycling service that is fit for purpose

* Targeted enforcement and bigger fines aimed at businesses and slum landlords who habitually fly tip

* Better communication with the community so that residents know what they should do, particularly when they move into the area.

* A dedicated dog mess officer, to target and fine repeat offenders at known locations.

* A dedicated alleys officer to engage with local communities who back on to alleyway grot spots, with a strategy to help them adopt and look after them to create usable community spaces.

Find the Friends of Cliftonville Coastline here

Photo Carl Hudson

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “The large bins at the corner of Athelstan Road were removed following feedback from the local community and the ward councillor. Our Waste and Recycling team have ensured that all the residents who previously used these bins now have the appropriate waste containers. They’re given wheeled bins or seagull proof bags, depending on whether they have room to store their containers off of the public highway.

Photo Frank Leppard

“Seagull proof bags are being collected on a Monday and wheeled bins on a Tuesday. Residents received leaflets explaining this as well as guidance on the correct use of seagull proof bags which must be taken back in once emptied.

“The area where the bins were located is being checked by officers on a daily basis. There is also active CCTV which is being used to frequently monitor this area.  Thanet District Council’s street cleansing and Streetscene Enforcement teams are working together. If there are items left in the area, where there is evidence we investigate so that appropriate action can be taken.

Photo Carl Hudson

“The monitoring is ongoing and appropriate action will be taken primarily to educate those responsible and encourage the correct disposal of waste. New signage is up to warn about the consequences of fly-tipping. This is part of the wider #keepkentclean campaign that was led by Kent County Council and the Kent Resource Partnership.

Photo Amelia Gregory

In the 2018/19 financial year Thanet council carried out 3,755 enforcement investigations into litter and waste offences and teams cleared 3,500 tonnes of waste from isle beaches, 100 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish, emptied 900 tonnes of rubbish from bins and cleared 840,00 tonnes of detritus during street sweeping.

Photo Frank Leppard

The number of missed bin collections (containers) in 2018, 2019 and 2020:

2018 – 16626
2019 – 27821
2020 – 22139 – as of September

The cost of collecting the waste annually is  £1,906,466.2. The cost of collecting the recycling (mixed recycling, paper and card and food) annually is  £1,438,383.08.

Photo Frank Leppard

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We continue to educate the public in a number of ways including highlighting examples of prosecutions, reminding people about their duty of care to ensure their waste is removed by a licensed carrier, offering a bulky waste collection service and signposting people to other ways to dispose of unwanted items such as charity shop donations or using the Kent Recycling Centres.”

Photo Wildlife Conservation in Thanet

Waste piled high in Ramsgate was cleared by town council operatives yesterday despite staff being on holiday.

Get rid of it

Photo Brian Smith-Stewart
  • 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 TDC for help and advice by emailing email streetscene.enforcement@thanet.gov.uk
  • 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/