Biffa binmen black sack bodge revealed when father from Ashford saw black refuse sacks and recycling being thrown into the same dustcart
A father says he was stunned to see binmen throwing recycling and general waste sacks into the same dust cart in Ashford.
The episode was caught on camera by Repton Park resident Andy Ruffell during Biffa’s route through his estate.
Despite being the borough’s week for refuse collection, the pictures show the workmen lobbing both clear recycling sacks and black sacks full of waste into the lorry.
Father-of-one Andy said: “I saw binmen putting all the waste in the same part of the truck; black and clear bags.
“It was a general waste week but I know some neighbours were confused about which week it was, so put both bags out. But even so, surely the binmen can tell what is recycling and what isn’t!
“They also missed my food caddy, which is already full and won’t last another week.”
The new recycling and refuse collection service was launched in Ashford on Monday, July 8.
In preparation for the new service, eligible households were given four new bins, including a green recycling bin, a grey general waste bin, and two food caddies, including a small one for the kitchen and a collection caddy.
The food collection is suppose to be weekly while the recycling collection and refuse collection alternate fortnightly.
Now Biffa, who signed an £86million 10-year contract with Ashford Borough Council last year in partnership with Maidstone and Swale councils, have put their hands up and admitted that the binmen did collect both sets of bags on the same day.
However, the waste collection provider said that the workmen only did so because the bags were all in the same pile and some recycling sacks had been contaminated with other waste.
A spokesman from Biffa said: “On the day in question, Biffa crews were scheduled to collect refuse and food waste in the area. A number of properties there, which are approved to use sacks, separately for refuse and for recycling, should have therefore put out refuse sacks for collection.
“However, Biffa crews found that residents had put out both refuse and recycling sacks, and had mixed them up in communal piles, making the collection task more difficult.
“This one-off incident is not typical of Biffa’s collection service which, wherever practical, does keep all refuse and recyclables separate." - Biffa
“The crew also noticed that a large proportion of the recycling sacks were contaminated with waste food and other materials.
"As the large number of sacks were from a number of properties, which would make identification difficult during the round, they took the initiative to clear all the sacks so that nothing would be left behind to block pavements and, possibly, to be ripped open and cause a litter problem.
“This one-off incident is not typical of Biffa’s collection service which, wherever practical, does keep all refuse and recyclables separate.
“In this instance, the crew’s action was deemed sensible and reasonable. Biffa and Ashford Borough Council are discussing how best to resolve this incident and so help avoid any further recurrence.
“Residents are urged to check their collection calendars so that they put out the correct sacks or bins for the relevant week.”
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