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Refuse collector in Maidstone is filmed emptying a resident’s food waste caddy directly into the general waste bin

An investigation is underway after a binman was caught tipping food waste into a wheelie bin.

The moment was caught on camera outside homes near Loose Road in Maidstone, in an area that has struggled with a lack of bin collections in recent weeks.

In it, he can be seen tipping the contents of the small food waste bin into a wheelie bin and taking it towards the lorry.

The frustrated householder who caught the action said: “I religiously separate my food waste from the rest and put it out each time, but what is the point if they immediately mix it up again?”

The resident, who asked not to be named for fear that he would go back to not having any bins collected at all, said: “I did get a brief look at the back of the refuse lorry and it did look as though it didn’t have a separate slot for food waste, so perhaps the binman had no alternative.

“But that is not the service that the council is supposed to be providing.”

A spokesman for Maidstone Borough Council said: “The council is aware of an incident of unacceptable waste collection practice in Loose Road. This will now lead to a full investigation of the crew member by SUEZ, as their employer.”

The Suez operative empties the food waste caddy directly into the general waste bin
The Suez operative empties the food waste caddy directly into the general waste bin

Meanwhile, the problem of missed bins continues across the borough.

The Mid-Kent Waste Partnership – comprising of Swale, Maidstone and Ashford councils – engaged a new household waste contractor - SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK - back in March and promised the new providers would “improve reliability, reduce the environmental impact and provide a more efficient service” for the 460,000 people living under the authorities.

But there were immediate problems with missed bin collections, with some residents saying their bins hadn’t been emptied for six weeks or more.

After the May elections in Maidstone, a Green and Lib Dem coalition took control of the council, but the problem has not gone away.

That at least has given one Conservative councillor, Stan Forecast, the opportunity to write to the council’s new leader Stuart Jeffery (Green) and deputy leader Clive English (Lib Dem) urging them to get on and sort the problem out.

Cllr Forecast said: “I am disappointed to learn of dozens of missed collections in Palace Wood.”

“This has gone on for too long and is totally unacceptable.”

Cllr Forecast added that residents who had paid for garden waste collections in April and May, which hadn’t happened, should be reimbursed.

He said: “I am prepared to explore constitutional ways to make this happen.”

Cllr Clive English said: “The number of reports of missed bins has substantially gone down since I became Cabinet Member and MBC staff are working through the issues literally road by road, property by property with SUEZ.

Cllr Clive English: We won't stop too we've got it right
Cllr Clive English: We won't stop too we've got it right

“There are still problems, but we are already working on these and will not be satisfied until all outstanding matters are resolved, on a contract we inherited. “

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