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Dover District Council apologises over missed refuse collections involving contractors Veolia

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Red-faced council officials have apologised for blunders in rubbish collections after a new timetable was introduced.

Scheduled pickups have been missed and residents say some have not happened for days or even weeks.

Bin bag in Dover ready to go this week. Will they be picked up in time?
Bin bag in Dover ready to go this week. Will they be picked up in time?

One householder has called the debacle "binday bingo."

It happened after dates for waste pickups by the dustcarts in Dover district were changed last month.

Dover District Council said on its website: "We’re sorry that the changes to our doorstep waste and recycling collections from April 12 have hit some bumps along the road.

"The new schedules introduced by our contractor, Veolia, were intended to ensure more efficient collections to provide a more environmentally friendly and sustainable service.

"It is now clear that these changes have caused some temporary disruption to services."

'Foxes, seagulls and rats are tearing at the bin bags...'

The council in March announced the changes of dates saying this was to help reduce distances travelled by the dustcarts and so help protect the environment.

Leaflets were then delivered to homes telling then of their new fortnightly dates for collections of food waste and recyclable materials and food waste and general rubbish.

But one resident, in Clarendon Road, Dover, who did not want to be named, told the Mercury: "For my street the website still says recycling collections are fortnightly on Thursdays, so twice now people have put their cans, glass and paper out on Thursday mornings and twice the recycling collectors have not arrived until late the next day.

"Some properties, such as flats, aren't given bins with lids by the council because they have nowhere to store them. Instead they're given purple bags

"When these are left out for a long time, pests like seagulls and foxes can smell what they think is food and they tear into the bags. The result is rubbish everywhere.

The contractors are Veolia. Library image
The contractors are Veolia. Library image

"Even before this debacle with the recycling, the bins situation has been a disgrace.

"Clarendon Place is cramped. If you walk along at any time, you'll see tins, cans, meat trays and sometimes filthy nappies which have been strewn across the pavement.

"I'm new to the area and I've never seen anything like it.

"Yet Dover District Council trumpets about how it prosecutes litterbugs.

"It needs to sort out its timetable and provide adequate bins to keep the pests away.

Lisa Terry, secretary and founder of St Radigund's Residents' Association Two
Lisa Terry, secretary and founder of St Radigund's Residents' Association Two

"I wonder if newly-elected Cllrs Collor and Richardson will use some of their KCC members' allowances to sort out Clarendon and Westbury areas?"

Lisa Terry, founder and secretary of Dover's St Radigund's Residents' Association Two, told the Mercury: "We have particularly had a problem in Coombe Valley Road, Beaufoy Terrace and Bunkers Hill Road.

"Certainly food waste is not being collected and foxes, seagulls and rats are tearing at the bin bags. We already have a problem of rats infesting the old Buckland Hospital site.

"Sometimes people have had to wait until the next collection in two weeks' time.

"Veolia did give us an extra collection day on a Saturday but they didn't pick everything up because they had to rush off and collect in other areas such as Tower Hamlets."

Jill Burford
Jill Burford

Deal resident Jill Burford told the Mercury: "Food waste, recycling bins and refuse has been left for days, sometimes weeks, causing a mess in many streets as rubbish gets blown around or pulled apart by foxes and seagulls.

"Numerous complaints have been made to DDC but there has been a very erratic response and very little resolution to date.

"The system worked just fine before."

People on Facebook revealed that there were problems in other areas.

On woman told of recycling material left behind at Kimberley Close, Buckland, Dover.

A man at Mill Road, Deal, told of repeated failures to empty communal bins for both general waste and recycling.

Collection problems have been in areas such as St Radigund's
Collection problems have been in areas such as St Radigund's

He said: "Just not good enough. We're all being short changed. You're paying for a service you're not getting."

A resident told of waste not collected a week after it was due at Dover Road, Deal, and a woman at Templar Street, Dover, said there had been no collection for four weeks.

She commented: "Load of idiots trying to run council and waste services. When they eventually turn up will probably be a load of snowflakes who refuse to lift bags off the ground."

Other locals on Facebook stressed that those physically picking up the rubbish should not be blamed.

One man quipped that this was "binday bingo" and said that the "poor refuse collectors" would face the wrath of residents.

The council has apologised for the debacle
The council has apologised for the debacle

Another man wrote: "Feel so sorry for the bin men. Some pencil pusher will have caused this mess."

A woman said: "The fact is it was working before - the changes made not by the bin men but some idiot up the chain of command.

"The last couple of weeks I have seen a lot of complaints about this not aimed at the bin men but at whoever thought it was a good idea."

Other residents said that their waste was collected in time in places such as Tower Hamlets.

The council website tracks the progress of collections.

It records that rubbish was picked up on their scheduled days at other addresses such as at Primrose Road, Buckland Avenue, Salisbury Road and Barton Road, Dover.

The remainder of the council's website apology said: "We’re working hard with Veolia to rectify the problems and to get the service back to its usual high standard.

"If your collection is delayed please leave your bins out and we’ll get to you as soon as we can. Where possible, please secure your rubbish so that it doesn’t get blown away.

"Throughout the pandemic we know you’ve come to rely on the hard work of our waste and recycling crews on the frontline.

"We’re confident that the service will soon be back to normal, working both for you and the environment."

You can track records of waste collections on your street on the web page collections.dover.gov.uk/property

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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