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 [email protected]
  • Report littering and fly tipping offences at
  • 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


  1. My useless,lazy binmen can’t even be arsed to take my rubbish each week,so what chance this ever increasing eyesore is going to be shifted.
    More and more areas are becoming polluted because of the feckless, antisocial,squalor loving of a minority in Thanet.

  2. Why are there so many people who think it’s ok to just throw their rubbish in the street ? If the bin is full it’s your rubbish so keep it in your house until the bin is empty. Like most of us do.

    We shouldnt need street cleaners etc but so many people in thanet are happy to live in a sh*t hole or expect other to pick up their mess.

    Why should my taxes be used to clean their mess, I would prefer my taxes to be used in finding these people and fined them heavily, if the cant pay take their phones and tv from them. But yet again most people will want to blame TDC and not the people who create the mess. It’s a very odd world we live in.

  3. Things have got worse, you are absolutely correct.

    Instead of removing bins, why don’t TDC install extra bins?

    As it is currently awkward to take bulk rubbish (fridges, chairs, washing machines etc), to the tip during this pandemic, why aren’t TDC doing more, such as providing a service of collection for a nominal fee (£1 – £5), so these items are not dumped in the street, then requiring further action, at cost to remove them.

    Yes, I know it is illegal dumping in the streets, and the majority of people don’t do it, but let’s join together, and hope that the council can provide better services, even if temporary, to get Thanet looking a little cleaner.

    • Phil

      I thought the council do takeaway large items for a small fee already ? But why use the service when you can just throw your fridge, mattress etc in the street and TDC pick it up for free ?

      • They charge 20.00 for collection of a bulky item. This is not within the realms of affordability for low income households. They should issue collection vouchers that can be obtained via TDC and book a timeslot in for your collection. (Present the fee exemption voucher). The vouchers should be limited amount per household so no business of free rubbish disposal could exploit the voucher system. Those that can afford the fee wouldn’t be eligible for the vouchers and pay the 20.00 which would supplement the voucher scheme, rather than it funding flytipping cleanups. If there’s a proper service then by large I believe most would follow it. It’s only because they can’t afford the fee that everything gets dumped there where they know it’ll get cleared for nothing.

        • Why is it beyond their affordability to pay for removal of items,but is within their affordability to buy the article in the first place?
          Don’t keep making excuses for these feckless vermin.They would do it,regardless of cost.

        • £20 for what a once a year to have something large removed but they cant afford it ? I bet their monthly mobile phone costs more than £20

        • Completely incorrect information you sprout Kelly.

          TDC charge £25.50 for collection of up to 5 items or up to 15 black sacks (70/80 litres) of household rubbish.

  4. So many areas of thanet are happy to live in their own mess. If the bin is full, to put it in the street is fly tipping ?

    We are to soft and to quick to blame the council etc and not the people who litter. Littering is disgusting and wants coming down on hard.

  5. I called Thanet Council, concerning the collection of one single arm chair. I was quoted £25 and a waiting time of six weeks.

    I can understand why people who try to do the right thing, result in fly tipping.

    Thanet Council wakey, wakey.

  6. I have made the point on here many times that the quality and performance of the waste and recycling service is in terminal decline. It is appalling. Not just the number of missed bins which is, by itself, staggering but the sheer number of litter bins left unemptied, dog poo bins overflowing and general filth and detritus all over the streets.

    Who is being made accountable for this? Even the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Albon, is just blaming the residents instead of demanding the senior managers improve the service. Once a TDC employee, always a TDC employee.

    Enough is enough. The beaches were a disgrace in the summer and this is a public health issue. Who is going to actually grasp the nettle and hold the relevant Director, Gavin Waite, to account for this total service failure? Residents are fed up and want to see some real local leadership to drive up the quality of what we have to put up with.

    Someone, please?

    • Thanetian Blind

      Yes I never thought it was TDC that made are beaches a disgrace and a public health issue. TDC shouldn’t be allowed to dump their rubbish on the beaches and streets I agree with you.

      I was under the impression that the public had dumped their rubbish on the beaches and the public dump their rubbish in the street. Silly me thats all blame TDC so the public can do what they want and expect our council using my taxes to pick up behind them.

      Regards of whether or not the bin is full , it’s the public that choose to throw it on the street or beach. When I was a kid we took our rubbish home, nowadays everyone excepts other to clear up behind them.
      Stop making exercise for these people.

      • Mr. Clean,
        I have been banging on in the Cliftonville FB site today in exactly the same vein as yourself although I must admit that I thought it was just the Athelstone road area that was affected. Seems we have this scourge in Ramsgate as well even if not as bad.
        Yes, why blame TDC?, the initial blame lays with those that dump their unwanted rubbish, pure and simple.TDC are inept all too often but this does not excuse the dumping of garbage on the streets. Stricter enforcement and education is sorely needed.
        Stop making excuses for lazy and feckless resident.

        • My point is this. I am now retired but, when working, had the opportunity to travel all over the country in my job. I have seen enough to know that Thanet isn’t a microcosm. Yes, people who live and visit the area can be lazy. But they don’t become lazy when they cross the river Wantsum. Every area has its fill of feckless people who can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves. Some, believe it or not, worse than here.

          This is where the blame can be put at TDCs door. As I said, I have spent a lot of time in other towns and cities across the UK. I have never been anywhere so consistently filthy as Thanet. Where so many bins are not emptied or not collected, where streets are not swept or cleaned for months if not years. The better councils out there have found a way to work around the lazy and inconsiderate in their areas. TDC have not. Their lack of innovation in dealing with this problem is startling which is why so many community groups are having to do their job for them. This is why their leaders need to be held accountable for the terrible services they run.

  7. The black sacks laying next to the bin by the Clock Tower are where the street cleaners take a bag of rubbish out of the bin and put a new liner in. Then leave the full sack next to the bin for the seagulls, sorry collection truck. I have always thought this a stupid practice.

    • But TDC use white bags with their logo on !! Those in the images are all domestic black sacks. Someone living or working nearby has dumped those next to the litter bin as you can see domestic rubbish spilling out.
      But, yes the litter cleaners do leave bags for the drivers to pick up, that is standard practice.

  8. Where is all this rubbish coming from if each property has bins as should?
    The problem is that TDC need the income of council tax so allow those premises to overcrowd with residents. There is no control on the amount of people in each house, flat, bedsit in those roads. There should be no rented premises where there is nowhere to store the bin that goes with it. Overcrowding these ex hotels and guest houses is the problem that causes all the rubbish on our streets. TDC need to have regulations on the amount of flats and bedsits allowed in each house, and tenants to each. Most of these premises are in the selective licensing areas of Thanet and therefore it is down to TDC to inspect the premises and enforce the regulations they already have but this is not happening. They are taking the fees but doing nothing in return. Agents need to start taking responsibility for their tenants behaviour also.
    I saw people unloading waste from cars, many walking down the road from accommodation to throw sacks on the pile and staff from a local shop that was open christmas day and boxing day adding to the pile at the other end of Athelstan Rd where the bins were removed and signs are up warning people they are on CCTV and will be fined or imprisoned. These people seem exempt though as no enforcement ever takes place. There is a report fly-tipping section on the TDC website but do they even read what is reported as it makes no difference so it seems?

    • TDC have occupation limits on licensed properties in the selective licensing area. Every landlord will write on the tenancy agree,ents what the maximum number allowed to live in the property is. But if the tenant allows more people to live there or has more children the landlord is required only to tell the council that the property is overcrowded in respect of the licence conditions. The council will in vast majority of cases not even go round to inspect the property and where the overcrowding is “tenant instigated” do nothing. So it achieves nothing.
      Regarding refuse storage in rented premises, for many years refuse storage has been a planning requirement for conversions and new builds along with hmo’s. But planning don’t check the conditions are complied with and its not a function of building control to check. Then you have buildings where in the past the council emptied bin stores but these days do so only in a few cases, tenants are quick to chuck their rubbish in the store but often don’t take it out. Faced with endless problems with rotting rubbish and having to clear it out , landlords/ managing agents, seal up the rubbish stores. So long as landlord has posted notices on how to use the bin store and informed tenants when there are problems the council is pretty pragmatic in that they’d rather there be rubbish on the streets than problems with rats etc in properties.
      The provision of Paladin bins is really the most effective solution , but they are abused. Council won’t put much effort into catching and prosecuting those abusing the facilities.
      All the time you have those that don’t care , its not going to change. In some streets you have tenants/residents that will be out sweeping the street outside their property and keeping it immaculate whilst next door is a rotting heap of trash.
      Council has same peoblems with its tenants.
      When ypu consider the council wants £3.60 for a visitors parking permit issued on line, providing a vehicle and two operatives to pick up a large item and then dispose of it paying the charges incurred , £20 seems pretty cheap.

      The missed collection figures are a farce,
      Report a collection missed and the council give themselves 5 working days to collect it , ie they do it the next week.
      If a building of 5 flats is missed it can only be recorded as 1 missed collection.
      If the collection is not collected in 5 days and another collection day missed you can’t report it as another missed collection as its already been reported.
      So a building of 5 flats can have 3 missed deliveries reported by each of the residents so in any normal mind its 15 missed collections , but for TDC its 1. Convenient way of improving the numbers.

  9. Enforcement is regularly mentioned by tdc, if enforcement worked we would not have the ongoing issues.

    So many times tdc refuse, forget to take recycling. It has got beyond a joke So many people just dont bother recycling at all.

    Blaming us council tax payers is not the answer.

  10. Unlikely this will be implemented when some weeks, including this week they haven’t even got enough binmen to empty the brown food bins. Could do with some bigger black bins as well-the bags easily get jammed in them & don’t always all come out when the machine tips them-then again hearing the squeaking of the lorries that has been going on for more years than I can remember I doubt these vehicles ever even get serviced or replaced. Why have the red bags now also shrunk in size?

  11. Don’t blame TDC for the rubbish. It’s everyone’s responsibility to not litter. No litter here in Garlinge but then it’s not overrun with HMOs full of gimmegrants is it… Now that you can blame TDC for eh…

    • But in some of the flats in garlinge the council hav e quietly given up doing any recycling as there were/are a number of council tenants who refuse to recycle , so it no longer happens. Also conveniently the council are quite happy to unlock bin stores to get wheely bins to the refuse truck, so relieving the tenants of the need to put their bins kerbside which the majority of us are expected to do. Easy to keep a place clean if you appease those who don’t comply.

  12. Many of these comments are wrong – council tax is based upon the number of bedrooms, not the amount of people living there, my neighbours who are lovely have 7 people living in a place the same size as mine, yet, as it has been converted into apartments more waste is created – Margaret Thatcher tried to introduce the Poll Tax based upon occupancy rather than the size of a property, we all know how that worked out. Someday, my house will be carved into 3 apartments, TDC will not be able to refuse it as so many on the street have been carved up and pecident has been set.

    • Which government was it that scrapped the rules about minimum sizes for dwellings, thus paving the way for an ordinary family home to be carved up into multiple dwellings?

      • There are still rules governing the sizes of dwellings and councils are free to impose their own standards they feel fit. However TDC choose not to do anything about those that breach the rules. I can take you to a flat that is a TDC freehold where the owner at the time converted it from 1 to 2 bedrooms, no planning or building regs and no permission from freeholder (Tdc), neither bedroom or lounge complid with tdc ‘s room standards. TDC did nothing and even allowed / helped get the details changed at land registry to enable a later sale. No interest in the effects the changes had on neighbours.
        However things have changed families are smaller and the days when thanets large houses were built for the wealthy middle classes have gone, the big homes are not affordable to buy or run for many that now live in thanet, and whilst there has a been a trickle of those able to do so into the district the overall demand is for smaller homes not the big 5 plus bedroom homes that were plentiful in cliftonville and other areas.

    • Council tax has nothing to do with the number of bedrooms , its based on the value of the property as judged to have been on 1st April 1991.
      In your example a typical large cliftonville home that has been carved up into say 4 flats will generate far more council tax than the building would as a single home.

  13. I do not condone fly tipping or the uncivilised behaviour of some people. However, provision of a bin brings an obligation to empty it with an appropriate frequency and it should not come as a surprise that there is more rubbish around at Christmas.
    It’s Christmas, we’re on lockdown, people are out walking…..guess what…..the dog bins at Minnis Bay are overflowing as are the general bins.
    I really do not get the management thinking at TDC – improve the frquency of collections and get some proper supervision/quality assurance in place. IT’S NOT DIFFICULT!!

    • Quite right. Surely the council should be increasing collection at Christmas. It’s obvious that this year more people had stuff delivered so pretty obvious there would be more oaciaging agree totally about the promenade bins. Totally inadequate given the higher number of people out and about now and more dogs in circulation. Bins are regularly full even on a cold weekend in November. Change the schedules

  14. When I became old enough to have my own house years ago, I Understood, the council was under obligation to take the rubbish from my home by emptying the bins, and that was ALL my unwanted items. Paid my then rates at the time, and there was never the problems that we have now. Years later, we have to conform to the TDCs ruling that we have to sort out our rubbish for them, and place the wheelie bins all along the pavements, making life hell for disabled people on mopeds etc. Plus the partially blind. I never once saw a drop in my rates community tax or whatever its called at the moment. In doing the councils job for them, ie sorting cardboard newspapers glass and the like, it is all sold, never once have I seen an annual figure of what money the council get for our throwaway, perhaps we should be entitled to know

    • You are not required to put your bins on the pavement.
      The TDC website makes it clear that you should put your bins at the edge of your property.
      Motor vehicles parked on the pavement create a much bigger hazard to pedestrians.

  15. I think it’s right that people should sort out their own rubbish and put the different categories into the correct bin or bag. After all, individual households choose what to buy and how much to buy.

    I have never put a bin on the pavement, I leave the bins just inside my gate.I don’t think there can be a rule saying that residents must place their bins on the pavement for collection.

  16. Terrible lazy the council charge huge council tax parking yet take long Xmas holidays bags of rubbish all seafront
    How hard is it to collect and empty

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