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Serco binmen caught on camera throwing rubbish around and mixing recycling waste

Three binmen found themselves in hot water after footage emerged of them appearing to mix recycling and leaving rubbish strewn across the pavement.

Angry resident Leopold Slayter, 61, captured the refuse collectors “throwing bins around” outside his home, and apparently combining the waste he and his neighbours had taken the time to sort.

One of the workers - a full-time Serco employee - resigned during a disciplinary process, while the other two agency workers are no longer used by the firm.

Video: Binmen were caught on camera mixing waste

Mr Slayter, who has lived in Jesuit Close, Canterbury, for 35 years, was at home when his CCTV camera captured the incidents.

“I saw these guys from Serco collecting the bins,” he said. “They seemed to be messing around. Then I noticed they were emptying cartons into my bin, and mixing the paper with cans and so on.

“I thought that was bad enough until one of them tipped paper into my caddy and it flew out, and they just left it strewn over the pavement.

“I was completely astounded by it. It was unbelievable.

A still from the April 12 video
A still from the April 12 video

“I spend time, and other residents in the area spend time, putting all their recycling in the right containers, and then these workers decide to be fools.

“You can’t tell in the video, but they were laughing and joking. One of the men actually swaggered away. They were so brazen - it’s just taking the mickey out of the system.”

In the first video, filmed on March 29, two binmen can clearly be seen removing the insert containing paper and cardboard from Mr Slayter’s bin.

They then empty this into his neighbour’s paper recycling box, before tipping the contents into the main body of the bin, which reportedly held cans, glass and plastic.

While pouring the contents of the boxes into Mr Slayter’s bin, they ignore a flurry of litter that falls to the ground.

After emptying the bin into the lorry the pair leave, with rubbish and recycling boxes still scattered across the pavement.

Another video, taken on April 12, appears to show a different Serco employee committing a similar error – contaminating the contents of Mr Slayter’s bin by tipping in paper and cardboard.

Mr Slayter said the experience has made him question whether there is any point in recycling.

A still from the March 29 video
A still from the March 29 video

“People do separate their waste,” he said. “I’ve gone out of my way purely because I want to help the environment.

“But if this keeps happening, I may as well just forget it.”

"They were so brazen - it's just taking the mickey out of the system" - Leopold Slayter

​City council spokesman Robert Davies said: "We are aware of two videos regarding the mixing of recyclable materials at an address in Jesuit Close.

"Both the council and Serco consider this to be completely unacceptable behaviour. Residents take the time to carefully separate their recycling, and for these efforts to be undermined by the actions of the people in these videos is very disappointing.

Leopold Slayter
Leopold Slayter

"The​ first​ incident was reported and investigated through Serco's disciplinary process. One of the loaders in the video was an agency worker, and he has not been used by Serco since that day. The other loader was a full-time member of staff, and he resigned during the disciplinary process.

​"The second incident was also swiftly investigated. This involved an agency worker and he is also no longer being used by Serco.

"A​ll ​refuse and recycling collection staff have been reminded​ of their responsibilities ​regarding collections, returning containers correctly and clearing up any ​dropped rubbish."

A spokesperson for Serco said: “We apologise for providing incorrect information. We would like to clarify that the loader resigned during the disciplinary process.”

*A previous version of this article reported that one of the binman was sacked following an investigation into the complaint made by Mr Slayter. This information was provided by Canterbury City Council on behalf of Serco, which has since apologised and corrected the error.

The employee in question was subject to a disciplinary process but resigned before it concluded. We are happy to clarify this.

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