Home   Kent   News   Article

Recycling plan for Canterbury 'seriously flawed' with residents told to leave papers on the ground

Confidential documents could litter a district’s streets if a city council persists in pushing through a new recycling practice, it is feared.

The authority has told residents with containers for paper and card, which are typically put inside blue bins, to place them on the ground outside instead.

The blue bin and paper caddy insert (54772036)
The blue bin and paper caddy insert (54772036)

The measure has been introduced because waste contractor Canenco complained the contents of the lidless ‘inserts’ were falling into the bigger bins, in among the bottles, tins and plastic.

But the system has been branded “seriously flawed”, with question marks raised over leaving such waste open to the elements.

Dave Wilson, the Labour leader on the authority, says he has been inundated with complaints.

“The problem is that there is no lid on the insert container, which means the paper and card is exposed and gets blown all over the place, creating litter,” he said.

“And because not all residents shred their confidential information, some of that is getting blown around and could contain personal data.

“The contents can also be exposed to vandalism or malicious acts, and it’s another bin to be manhandled, which is not easy for older residents.”

The new notice on bins
The new notice on bins

Canenco has been informing residents of the new rules by giving out flyers and placing stickers on the bins.

Brian Butler, of New House Close, Canterbury, is not impressed.

He wrote to the Gazette: “This could result in paper being blown all over the road in high winds, or saturated if it rains.

“Good thinking on the part of the council! Or, perhaps we will all be fined for littering our streets - could be another income stream.”

Colin Grundon, of Alma Road, Herne Bay, added: “To leave paper and cardboard out for collection out of a waterproof container just will not work, as with strong winds and rain, environmentally, it is not practical or safe.”

And Pauline Sims, of Mount Road, Canterbury, wrote: “I dread to think what will happen on a windy day.”

Cllr Wilson says he cannot see the benefit to Canenco and hopes the roll-out of the new measure will be reversed.

“It cannot be any quicker [for refuse workers] than removing an insert from a blue bin, but increases the manual handling risks, I would have thought,” he said.

Canterbury's Labour group leader, Cllr Dave Wilson
Canterbury's Labour group leader, Cllr Dave Wilson

Cllr Wilson claims the change, which affects thousands of residents who use the red container inserts, was not properly consulted on by the city council.

But this has been refuted by the authority, which insists the new practice was first detailed and agreed in a report to a community committee meeting last July.

The council says it has also given away thousands of free and discounted red recycling bins for paper and card to residents, which will make a “significant contribution” to reducing the amount of paper and card that falls into blue bins.

It is already battling a contaminated waste problem after it was revealed that 670 tonnes of recycling had to be sent to landfill across the Canterbury district last year, due to “irresponsible” householders dumping the wrong items in bins.

The council last week said it will be making “rigorous” checks on blue bins to ensure they contain the right waste. Those that do not will not be emptied.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More