Friday, October 25, 2013

It's All Rubbish I Tell You

"You Must be Having a Laugh"
After so many comments and email on the subject of the new rubbish collection service by Thanet Council, which now involves an potentially confusing selection of bins and receptacles, I arranged a meeting earlier this week, with the Director of Service, Mark Seed.

Readers may be pleased to know that I raised many of the issues that concern them and I'm now reasonably confident with the answers and the process of the service roll-out, which starts in November. I will be asking Mark to take a much closer look at the published calendar of collections, to address what appear to be reported inconsistencies causing a worry to some.

The new service has already been trialed successfully in pilot areas of Thanet and is a fact of life in areas such as Medway. None of us like multiple bins cluttering our streets and driveways but I think that all of us understand that recycling is now a way of life and that landfills that fail to separate the reusable from the redundant are not the way of the future.

The new collection service is something we can't avoid and so the great majority of households, mine included, will have to learn to live with it. That said, there are a couple of important points that may reassure those households that simply don't have the space or which exist in areas which are quite unsuitable for the new regime. Parts of Margate and Cliftonville which have been in 'special measures' for rubbish collection, since I was in the Cabinet, are a good example.

If an area, a block of flats or a street is deemed unsuitable, then I'm told, the rubbish collection and bin regime, will simply remain as it is today. If you believe that this is true of your property or that perhaps elderly or vulnerable residents may be unable to deal with the blue, the black, the red bag and the food bin collection cycle, then call the Council (01843 577727) or alert one of your local Councillors.

As an example, the area of Station Road in Westgate, was raised as an example as the flats are above the shops and I also drew attention to potential 'issues' in Adrian and Ethelbert Squares, as well as many of the retirement blocks close to the seafront.

For most of us though, there isn't an option and we need to remember to put out our waste food and place high value card into the red bag for collection. Otherwise everything else remains the same.

There is a video which explains all of this cleverly hidden on the Council website. I did ask them to send me the link but nothing has appeared. No surprises there, so until they do, here's the official Clive Hart version and I will continue to look for the real instructions video and embed it further below, so you can see it


Finally, I had my water meter installed, like many other households this week. There is a suspicion that Southern Water may have used the opportunity to lift the tariff and I see my Labour colleague, Cllr Iris Johnston, is already on the case, seeking clarification. If it proves true then I would regard this as quite unacceptable in a difficult time for everyone with utility bills. If I hear more I will share it here or on Twitter. (@simonmoores)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, we all need to do our bit to reduce the rubbish which goes to landfill. However, under the new system plastic which was previously recycled will now go into a hole in the ground. This a backward step with serous consequences for us all. I doubt whether this increase will be recorded by anyone at TDC!

William Epps said...

Think one of us has misunderstood something here, 6:42, for previously only plastic bottles went into the recycling bin. Now all hard plastic is to be recycled and it is just thin soft plastics, like bags, that go into the household waste bin.

Mind you there are grey areas like used kitchen foil, used foil dishes and toothpaste and similar tubes that seem to have no home in the new order of things.

Read in the Gazette letters that somebody wastes no food and puts his vegetable peel and tea bags on the garden compost heap. Wonder what he does with his meat bones or does the fox recycle those?

Anonymous said...

William, not all of us eat meat! I too have almost zero food waste.

Bemused of Birchington said...

I understand that cooked food waste should not go on a compost heap because this attracts rats, but perhaps the foxes will keep the rats down. So the fox hunting ban is a good thing.

Two ravens have been killed by foxes at the Tower of London, bringing the number down to the minimum of six. Below this number (six ravens at the tower), the nation is in mortal danger, so the ban on fox hunting is a bad thing.

I was debating whether to put my brown food bin out tonight, but I might not find it in the morning.

Anonymous said...

The point I (6.42) was trying to make is that the recycling we now have from TDC should be a great opportunity to take less to landfill not more, and plastic bags etc is the worst offender. Just to add insult, I've just phoned the council about a bin man who tripped over a piece of rubbish loose on the pavement and then stood with his bins beside another piece without even bothering to pick either of them up! How are we supposed to do our bit if our binmen don't bother to pick up something as easy as this. Perhaps there's an edict that are not supposed to due to H&S!

Anonymous said...

Meat bones? Oh, I wish! It will be interesting to see how many brown bins are put out for the new collections. Total tally in this household for a week would be a couple of slices of stale bread ( no..won't feed them to the seagulls) and a handful of potato peelings.

Anonymous said...

The new "let's sort it out" debacle.
If our blue lid bins hadn't suddenly contracted an allergy to paper and card the new scheme would be relatively easy.
Chased my red bag down the road this morning - not impressed. I know it was exceptionally windy, but still!
Seems to me all the wrong things are still going into landfill.

Anonymous said...

What optimism you have ! You say we sghould contact one of our local councillors !!!! Who ? Other than yourself, we have no other councillors. The Labour girl hasn't exactly been seen around Westgate and the UKIP rep probably doesn't know how to get here from his home in Ramsgate ! Well, he has been as absent as Miss. Hibbert at least. So expect to take the brunt of the work as it seems to me, you are the only one actually doing anything in Westgate !

Anonymous said...

6:25, I'm not sure if you're aware, but there are other ways of contacting cllrs besides waiting until you bump into them in the high street! I've email cllr Hibbert numerous times and always received a reply. Try it yourself: cllr-jodie.hibbert@thanet.gov.uk

William Epps said...

Perhaps the whole essence of local government should be that councillors are in fact local, preferably living in the wards they represent so that they know the problems in them.

Whilst I accept that modern communication makes elected representatives more easily contactable, even today many people do not have internet access. Furthermore, even where they respond as suggested by the previous comment, how much better if they are regularly in their ward, recognisable to the public and seeing for themselves what is going on.

Simon Moores said...

I would agree with that as I'm considering offering a fiver for the first photo of one of my fellow ward councillors spotted working in Westgate. That does not include giving out leaflets singing the praises of the Labour party or Cllr Scobie's ambitinos for a Westminster career

Anonymous said...

Judging by the conversations overheard this morning the new hot topic is the new rubbish collection.
Having read 'the rules' for the past week as directed, I have dutifully been adding plastics etc to the blue bin and paper/card to the red bag ready for next Monday's collection as per the new rota. So, it was a tad confusing when the dustcart rolled up the road as usual and collected the blue bins put out by some of our neighbours.
What the heck is going to be collected on Monday then as most of the bins will be empty? I was talking to one of the guys collecting who was also handing out leaflets and he was convinced that the red bags are going to be collected every week. When I told him they weren't, his response was 'well, they've made a right c*** up then haven't they'? Organised chaos?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to keep harping on about this, but having noticed that our dustbins at the top of Station Road have not been emptied ( according to the calendar they should have been), I have spent a frustrating time trying to actually speak to someone on either of the phone numbers provided. Got hung up on once and then just had the phone line bingo routine.
The only eventual recorded response was that they would be emptied next Monday! One step forward, half a dozen back! :(

Anonymous said...

Laughing my socks off now. In desperation, I sent an e-mail to the address listed on the website. Just 'pinged' back as undeliverable. Going to lie down in a dark room.

Simon Moores said...

There's problem with the Council system today. I recommend you remain prone until it's fixed!

Also the rubbish collection system needs some "Tweaking" I have noticed today

Anonymous said...

I obviously agree that we should all recycle. However, with regard to the red bags for paper and card, clearly no thought has been given for those who live in Thanet, and work away from home. At least with the old system (black and blue bins) it was possible to leave the bin out for the week. But this is simply not possible with the red bags. I also question why Thanet have changed their recycle bins, when those who live in Maidstone put all their recycling into one bin and their rubbish, along with Thanet's end up in the same place!

Anonymous said...

I watched as the red bag with all the cardboard which we had carefully seperated was emptied into the blue bin before being tipped into the truck. What is the point of that?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:10, several people on facebook have claimed the same thing, but there are in fact different sections for different rubbish in the refuse trucks now.