Packed Thanet beaches result in tonnes of waste left behind – again

Yesterday's rubbish remains on Margate main sands Photo John Horton

Thousands of people took advantage of Thanet’s beaches to soak up the sun over the weekend – but predictably mounds of rubbish were left behind.

On Saturday (July 17) evening volunteers from the Rise Up Clean Up group cleared a whopping 31 bags of trash and numerous abandoned inflatables from Margate main sands in just two hours.

This morning a trail of rubbish was waiting to be cleared from Margate  following a hugely busy day yesterday.

Photo John Horton

Dirty nappies, nitrous oxide gas canisters, pellets and bottles and even a steel soup ladle were among the debris left behind.

This month Thanet council made changes to street cleaning and bin emptying in a bid to tackle the litter issue.

Thanet has been divided into five zones and on any given day there are crews working across all five areas. Their responsibilities are emptying litter and dog bins on the streets and in parks or open spaces, clearing fly-tipping and loose waste from council housing communal bin stores, as well as general litter picking and tidying up.

There are at least two manual street cleaners working in the towns, plus two in Cliftonville, every day.

Busy day Photo Carl Hudson

Thanet council employs additional staff in the summer season specifically for beach cleaning, working from 6am. At peak times they finish at 8pm.

Photo John Horton

The beach tractor also operates daily, as does the crew that is responsible for emptying the large 1280 litre bins.

Twelve recycling bins, created in partnership with Rotary Clubs in Thanet and Southern Water, have been – and are being – installed at isle beaches, each with a 360L wheelie bin and there are 80 bins along the coastline.

Photo John Horton

Despite the extra measures, Thanet council says teams cleared an 40 extra tonnes of waste across the district this weekend and are still tackling Sunday’s mess today.

Cllr Reece Pugh, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council, said: “Waste is everyone’s responsibility, but disappointingly we continue to see a small minority of beach users spoil our beautiful beaches, parks and open spaces by leaving their rubbish behind. Over the weekend, we have seen huge amounts of rubbish left on our beaches, with many bins overflowing.

“Our hard working street cleaning team starts work at 6am every day, with their shifts extended to 8pm at Margate Main Sands and Viking Bay in Broadstairs. Our operatives removed a staggering 40 extra tonnes of waste across the district this weekend and are still clearing the aftermath from rubbish left behind on our beaches yesterday.

photo Carl Hudson

“There are 80 bins along our coastline and promenade bins are emptied twice a day. We employ litter pickers who are dedicated to clearing rubbish from Margate Main Sands, Viking Bay, Joss Bay, Botany Bay and Ramsgate Main Sands. In addition, a mobile squad is deployed to pick up litter from promenades and walkways daily. A system for bay inspectors and beach concessions to report full bins and emerging waste issues is in place, so that we can target beach cleaning resources to where they are most needed.

Photo Jamie Kight

“We are extremely grateful to our community partners who are committed to working alongside our waste and recycling teams to keep our beaches, parks and open spaces clean for all to enjoy. One recent joint initiative, led by the Rotary Clubs of Thanet, saw the installation of 12 new recycling stations on our main bathing beaches, adding to the 42 recycling bins already in place at all of our Blue Flag beaches.

“We urge visitors to think about how long it takes other people to clean up after them. When a bin is full, instead of leaving rubbish on the ground, find an emptier bin or take litter back home to dispose of. Waste that isn’t properly disposed of risks polluting our seas.

“If you’re planning to visit Thanet we urge you to be considerate of local people, other visitors, wildlife and our beautiful coast and please don’t leave litter behind.”

Thanet council says measures are being taken for the welfare of authority and agency workers during the heat. Concerns had been raised that agency staff are required to wear full kit, including coats, whilst working.

A council spokesperson said: “In order to ensure that our staff are protected, our cleaning operatives are required to wear appropriate PPE. In warmer weather this includes a high visibility t-shirt, ballistic trousers and safety boots. (Provided a hi vis t-shirt or vest is worn, jackets are not required). PPE is designed to keep operatives safe in all working conditions, and applies to both council employees and agency staff.

“During this extreme heat, we are taking extra steps to ensure the safety of our staff. We are supporting frontline workers during this time by scheduling some activities such as street and beach cleansing to avoid the most intense sun around the middle of the day. We are making sure that our staff have suncream and hats to hand.  Our supervisors are also taking bottles of cold water out to staff on their rounds to keep them hydrated and help them to keep cool.

“There is obviously a balance to strike to ensure our staff are as safe as possible while carrying out their duties and we are doing everything we can to make working in these current conditions as comfortable as possible.”


  1. People are so poor that they buy inflatables then leave them behind.
    So depressing that the feral scum ruin are glorious coastline.

  2. The lazy ignorant english public have not the slightest concern.for our.precious environment.Now must be the time to charge users.for the priveledge of enjoying our wonderful natural breaches..

      • That’s a quibble. They may be from Timbuctu but they’re still litter louts. which is the important point.

      • Totally agree there how does he know they are English that comment is not acceptable I patrol the area from the turner to the Nayland rock and the small beach the other side of the bathing pool I hear non English languages all the time some ethnic groups don’t respect our beach Margate main sands they bring there own food alcohol pump loud music that nobody wants to listen bring there own cookers everytime they come they constantly leave there waste on the beach those non English groups that’s how they live in there country of origin anything said to them lots of abuse given. It doesn’t help. people trying to earn a living during the summer.To keep them going off season.

        • In Spain, several new rules have been put in place recently,as the behaviour of tourists – many of them British- has been so bad.

    • They do it in Germany 2€ per person per day, or family ticket 5€.
      It wouldn’t work here though… Too many ‘Cretyobs’

  3. Perhaps we could have a road sweeper for the St Peters Estate as we haven’t had one for years. I did spot a Scarab Minor road sweeping machine in St Peters village the other day but the driver doesn’t seem to be able to cross over the railway line and sweep our (ex) Council estate. Perhaps Councillor Pugh could tell us what the frequency is for our area?

    • Maybe residents should take pride in their street and clean it themselves like they used to. Stop going on. Keith, the male version of a Karen.

    • Mr Veness what is to do with it being an ex council estate whether it is cleaned or not? Still knowing your politics you would say if a dog fouled your street it must be a Tory dog/owner. I totally agree with what Karen says above, people should take pride in their area and instead of moaning clean it themselves!

  4. Council should charge say £1 to enter the seafront , not for the locals but for others who come from other areas as they probally be the ones that dump the crap.
    Council won’t be allowed to do this but notices put up saying your reg number is recorded and any fly tipping will be investigated might make people think.

  5. Very odd article that goes on to say how much TDC are doing to keep the beaches clear. Yet a couple of weeks ago, they were looking for volunteers!!

    • At the end of the day TDC shouldnt be needed to clean the beaches.

      Just take your rubbish home it’s not difficult.

    • To be fair TDC is taking measures to try and tackle the problem but people are leaving their cr*p on our beaches and streets. Thanet’s many volunteers do an amazing job but what would be even more amazing is for people to bin their rubbish or take it home.

  6. I’ve just spent 10 days in Seahouse and Berwick-upon-Tweed (Northumberland), and both the beaches and the streets are spotless. So either northerners and Scots are far tidier, or they have better cleaning in this area (a combination of the two I suspect!).

  7. Ramsgate beach was busy all weekend but I didn’t see anything like the rubbish which poor Margate has experienced. Maybe it’s down to the type of visitor – Ramsgate is less accessible by public transport so fewer non locals whereas at Margate its straight off the train and onto the beach. Anyway its disgraceful and happens whenever the sun comes out. We need a better solution.

    • A local council worker, one of those who starts clearing litter at 6 a.m., told me that between six and nine a.m. they clear several bags of litter from Ramsgate Main Sands. This debris is left there by groups of people who come down to the beach after dark. That is also why there’s litter on Boundary Road rec. in the mornings.

  8. A bulk of these people have had lessons at school etc over the past 20/25 years about saving the planet,it seems to have fallen on ground with the rubbish ,so such for people have green credentials and thinking about the planet

  9. Mr Reece Pugh….I agree its the responsibility of everybody but today Monday at 2 oclock many bins are overflowing with litter.Just passed Dumpton Gap beach and all the bins are overflowing and dog poo bags everywhere.Right next to where people sit outside the cafe.
    My own road has never been swept in the 10years I have lived here.
    So perhaps TDC should practise what they preach.The standards set by TDC are pretty low.
    I have been to several other beaches this year and they are considerably cleaner than here.

  10. In the photo taken by Jamie Kight, I would suggest that the majority of that may have been caused by Seagulls as it look as though the black refuse bags have “attacked” by them, so maybe something needs to be done to control them as well.

    • Paul link that is true the seagulls attack all black bags other ones as well many visitors do leave their fish and ship boxes with some food in them or empty boxes with chips to feed the hills it’s not all people litter also comes from ships dumping overboard blown with the wind all sanerios cause the problem

      • I agree, I’m not saying it is all the fault of Seagulls, but the photo shows the bins overflowing, so the birds will, of course,
        see if there is food. The council needs to monitor the bins more. That’s why we all have plastic bins to stop that, but what ships come close to the kent coastline now. That was on argument that arose when the ferrys went out of Ramsgate. Now there is no ferries, so I can only persume it is private boats.

  11. The bins were all overflowing in King George VI park on Saturday evening. People had at least tried to put their rubbish in or near to the bin but there was a mess everywhere as all other nearby bins were also full.

  12. Even without tourists there is litter all over the area.Thanet is not just about the seafront.Also look at the weed growth kerbside caused by no sweeping.Then the weedsprayers come and spray the awful chemicals into the atmoshere polluting our planet.Well done TDC but I think you play a part in this problem as well.
    I have travelled to some of the poorsst places on Earth and Thanet is quite easily the dirtiest place Ive ever seen.

  13. Kind of impossible to clean the sandy beaches when there populated by many.

    Thanet has beach&coast PSPO which covers nearly everything but they dont have operatives to enforce it.
    So much trash is left after the bin & cleaning operatives have finished for the day. The evening, night and overnight visitors bring more trash only to find bins already overflowing.
    There is a large banner attached to railings saying “the bin is here” but there is no bin but plenty of trash.

    Oh and the seagulls dont help, enforcing the PSPO is needed.

  14. Yesterday at around 3pm there was a big group on Ramsgate main sands complete with gazebo and a huge BBQ that they were using for the 20 or so people who were part of the group.

    Where were the TDC staff ? Where was the bay inspector. People see others taking the Michael with the rules and just join in themselves.

  15. About time the council and locals stood up for this shamful behaviour, we as residents have to pay for this time after time disgrace to the council

  16. There is never a beach inspector on Ramsgate beach. We need one. What with dangerous jetskis, barbecues and loud raucous music, a person of some authority and immediate access to whatever is needed to stop a breach of the current rules should be present on Ramsgate beach, especially at weekends.

    These anti-social people are a minority, but their presence makes other people think twice about coming to Ramsgate for a visit.

  17. Just back from Italy. No multinational takeaways or chicken shops etc. and the streets are clean despite being very busy. The number of takeaways – or rather their customers – cause most of the litter in the streets from what u see. Re the beaches – cane we gave the rabbits reminding people to take their rubbish home and some prominent signage threatening fumes to people wanting my keaving their rubbish behind-that it community service to clean up the mess .

    • Should have said – the beaches. Get the tannoys to broadcast warnings about leaving litter and possible fines etc

      • I have never heard the beach inspector on Margate beach say anything about this the sound is so poor I cannot understand what he says. cannot

  18. Time we started charging for visitors to go on the beach many spend nothing in the for residents. Also need to cull the seagulls or feed them with contraceptive food. Just leave 4

  19. Why are we surprised… Again?

    Those who had the bad, inconsiderate habits in previous years aren’t going to miraculously change. Add to that a huge lack of sanitary provision (bins) and insufficient support staff to empty said bins and sweep.
    Personally I would always pack my rubbish and take it home if I couldn’t find a suitable bin before.
    Let’s not make it a racial issue. It will be all nationalities and all walks of life to some degree.

  20. I got several, very slow and very hot, trains home from Northumbria yesterday, and at most the stations from Gravesend to Faversham many youths (a mixture of races though mostly white) got on the train. They were openly smoking dope and sharing balloons, while getting fruity chasing scared looking girls of about 14 who were wearing bikinis that showed off every inch of their bottoms, as well as generally terrorising other passengers. Not once did I see any guards walk through the train (I went looking, he was hiding in a locked cabin), and none of the staff on the stations attempted to stop anyone.

    Two things: these youths were almost certainly on their way to Margate (thankfully, we got off at Birchington); and those striking rail staff should perhaps actually do the jobs they’re paid to do if they want our sympathy.

    Oh, I was coughing and spluttering a lot on the trains, and I’ve just tested positive for Covid. So hopefully I infected a few of them!

  21. These people moaning about lack of a beach inspectors or guards on trains, have you ever worked dealing g with unruly members of the public ?

    I guess your pay will be low and yet you are expected to take large amounts of verbal abuse from teenagers and adults. You have no powers what so ever to enforce your actions. We havent enough police to back you up. It might go beyond verbal abuse and turn into physical assault.

    These people arent bothered about the police yet you think they will listen to a beach inspector. Give your head a wobble !

    • If they’re not up to the job, then they need to either do something else or we make them all redundant. Bouncers on the door of pubs and clubs cope OK, so perhaps we need those on our trains as well?

      • So what powers do the security personnel that TDC are employing to patrol the beaches ?

        They had no powers no different to you or me. Everyone knows they have no power to enforce anything. Bouncers have no powers, that’s why that ex boxer got sacked the other week. He knocked out a member of the public and was sacked. All the can do is stop you getting into a club or stop a fight, they cant real use force.

        • That doesn’t change the fact that they’re losing lots of revenue for the company they’re employed by (not one person checked my ticket from St. Pancras to Birchington yesterday). Wish I had their “job”!

  22. From my experience alcohol should not be allowed on the beach! I often walk on Margate beach in the mornings and it is full of broken bottles of beer/lager spirits etc.
    It seems booze has been available in more and more outlets compared to my youth! I can remember it only available from off licences!
    Of course what is to stop anyone bringing alcohol on to the beach? Nobody and that is a major problem!

    • Perhaps the beach could operate like a sports or music venue. Turnstiles and your bags searched and no alcohol allowed 😉

      Seriously the availability of alcohol is a big problem. Like you we as youngsters the only place was the off licence and you need to jump thought so many hoops lol. Still we could buy a single fag if you couldnt afford a packet !

      • Get with it, people. Drugs are a bigger problem than alcohol these days (none of the youths on the trains to Margate yesterday were drinking, yet a great many of them were intoxicated).

        • At 6am on Margate beach the rubbish contains mostly fast food/food waste and alcohol bottles cans etc

  23. Thanet council don’t have many toilets to look after they don’t have to worry about cleaning the streets because an army of volunteers go out litter-picking streets and beaches for free so TDC can take the responsibility of doing their bit to clear up the mess. The over inflated parking charges more than pay for the council little cleaning cost.

  24. Beaches and surrounding areas are open 24 hours, the cleaning operatives do a sterling job but they cannot work on a heavily populated beach.

    24 hours open, so people visiting coast/beach in the evenings or overnight stayers (camp people,sometimes with tents) may well find the bins are already overflowing as the bin operatives have finished shift.

    Can only blame those who take our council tax £’S and their partners forgetting some areas need 24/7 reactive response.IE every four hours.
    Overflowing bins,mounds of food,bbq’s litter just adjacent to council bins under cctv cameras. Do the cameras actually work ?

    PSPO is in force its been well headlined on iotn pages and easily searchable, maybe tdc forgot to renew the pspo order or forgot to recruit operatives for the summer season~ who knows.

    Why so much dog crap on our pspo beaches ?

    Omni sham bles. Hey more to follow and i await an official response….

  25. In general, Thanet is a very dirty place to live in. No street is clean of litter. Even here in the wealthier parts of Cliftonville there are those that never, ever take waste home with them. I visited the East Midlands last month. Result was no litter and no dog poo on the streets I walked on. Beach waste has always been a problem as I cam remember. We want visitors and then moan at them. Unfortunately they don’t like taking the rubbish back to London and such places. As for paying to get on the beaches if you are a visiter, dream on. That would make matters worse. They could say they have paid for the rubbish to be picked up by the council. A few brains are needed not just people throwing useless remarks around here. Oh, Dear, Me. No brains here are there. Other councils have the same beach litter problems as well. Little Britain has a big Britain litter problem. Blaming illegal immigrants will be next . Blame yourselves for electing useless councillors down the years and voting the same colour all the time. Good luck!

    • Nothing to do with who we vote for. Thanet has remained a dirty place regardless of which party are running the council. I should also add, one place that is even worse than Thanet, with 4-feet hight weeds growing out of pavements, is Brighton and Hove – run by the Greens.

  26. I have to agree

    Thanet really is a dirty and unkempt place.

    This is due by both the council and the public. It’s the public that put the rubbish on the floor. Its national government that keeps reducing the money for local government.

    I can remember people cleaning the area outside there homes as well as shopkeepers. Nowadays it’s always someone else’s job, so many people only have pride behide their garden gate. But on the other hand TDC use to stop people cutting the grass outside their homes !.
    Now we have people and council who want the place looking a mess as it’s good for wildlife !

    Interesting about Brighton, obviously banning products to control weeds without having a solution !.

  27. The majority of the people leaving their rubbish on the beaches and cliff tops at Botany Bay are of Middle Eastern extraction. They have zero morals and a total lack of education when it comes to rubbish disposal.
    They have reduced their home countries to wastelands and have now been invited here to do the same to ours.

  28. If TDC Had beach patrols(and parking Patrols) like else where in the world that fined people for rubbish, parking and inforced the fines, they could make a pretty penny which in turn can be spend on cleaning deeper into towns in Thanet.

Comments are closed.