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Canterbury council chief apologises after binmen caught mixing separated recycling waste

Serco worker mixing recycling that had already been sorted
Serco worker mixing recycling that had already been sorted

A council's drive to urge homeowners to recycle more has been rubbished... after binmen were filmed mixing already separated waste.

Canterbury council launched a £1 million system which they boasted would save the council cash and boost recycling, with residents encouraged to separate their rubbish into sparkling new bins.

But a video posted online shows a Serco binman dumping the carefully-sorted recycling into one wheelie bin.

The footage – captured on a street in Whitstable – was uploaded to Facebook by a man calling himself Colin Council.

It shows the binman twice tipping a container of paper and card into a separate bin for bottles and cans.

City council chief executive Colin Carmichael said: “We are shocked and horrified at the footage.

“A lot of hard work has gone into preparing the new scheme and residents have been diligently separating their rubbish as we asked.

“To then see this happening is completely unacceptable and we are very sorry.

“We are having urgent discussions with Serco to investigate what their staff have done, which we strongly hope is an isolated incident.

“If there is any disciplinary action or retraining of staff required, we will insist that this happens as a priority.

“And clearly we will be looking at what we pay Serco in these circumstances.

“It’s really disappointing because the new scheme has got off to a great start, with thousands of households taking advantage of the new glass and food waste collections.

Video: Binmen caught mixing recycling rubbish in Whitstable

“We want to reassure residents that we will urgently resolve this matter with Serco. Please stick with us and what we’re trying to achieve.”

Serco’s lead contract manager for Canterbury environmental services, Sean Trotter, said: “Our staff have undergone comprehensive training to understand the changes to the new service and consequently to the way in which they collect waste from households.

“Unfortunately, earlier this week, three collection staff were seen mixing already separated recycling.

“We are investigating this incident with the individuals involved and will be taking the appropriate action, which may include disciplinary measures.

“Serco prides itself on delivering the highest customer service.

“We would like to apologise and reassure residents that this is was an isolated incident and we are working to ensure it does not happen again.

“ We have agreed with the operators of the materials recycling facility that additional steps will be taken to ensure that that all of these materials are recycled.”

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