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Dartford council to give bin collection updates via Twitter

By Jenna Dobbs

People will now be able to find out when their rubbish is being collected via Twitter.

Dartford council is preparing to launch the new 'Cleaner Dartford' account later this month, providing live updates on the town's waste collections.

It comes after a number of people took to Facebook to complain about the service, with one commenter describing "a post apocalyptic wasteland" outside their home.

An unemptied bin in Dartford. Picture: Dartford Litterpickers (6426571)
An unemptied bin in Dartford. Picture: Dartford Litterpickers (6426571)

Despite the criticism, council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite (Con) says the majority of people are happy with what he describes as a "common sense approach".

He added things should be "back to normal" by next Monday, with "100% of Christmas rubbish gone".

The page will be shared on Facebook and Twitter when it goes live, offering tips on what you can and can't recycle, and how to keep the area a more environmentally friendly place.

The borough was declared Kent's worst for recycling in March 2017, after it was revealed just 25.6% of household waste was sent for recycling or composting in 2015/16.

Recycling bins in Dartford
Recycling bins in Dartford

Cllr Kite attributes the statistics,which were released by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), to the area's weekly bin collections.

He said: "The simple fact is that, here in Dartford, less than 0.5% of waste goes into landfill, which is an extraordinarily good figure.

"We are very open about the area's low recycling rate, as the councils with lower rates have achieved this by cutting the frequency of collections.

"Around two thirds of people voted to keep weekly collections at our last big bin vote, which is something we will provide if people want it.

Dartford council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite
Dartford council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite

"Dartford has around 106,000 residents and 43,000 properties - complaints are a tiny element of this figure.

"Crews work extraordinarily hard, and I think it is a good service."

However, Peter Adams, 70, of Princes Road, said more should be done to encourage recycling in the area.

He said: "The council is absolutely dreadful, they need to be shown up because they are absolutely dreadful.

"Any time we have a holiday, we have this running nightmare - whether its Christmas or Easter.

"We can only put out one recycling bin and one rubbish bin, but we have double the amount of recycling than we have rubbish.

An overflowing dog poo bin in Dartford. Picture: Dartford Litterpickers (6426567)
An overflowing dog poo bin in Dartford. Picture: Dartford Litterpickers (6426567)

"They will only collect one recycling bin every two weeks - they only do a weekly collection with rubbish.

"More and more residents are now recycling, and the council need to get themselves in gear.

"More importance should be placed on recycling, with collections every week.

"The council has got to work much harder to gets its recycling levels up to the required grade - it's possible to do far more."

Dartford Labour has also criticised the council over its "failure to keep the borough clean", claiming overflowing bins are becoming a permanent fixture throughout the town.

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