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Temporary recycling bins installed across Tonbridge and Malling while green bin collections suspended

With recycling collections suspended and green bins overflowing with cardboard, five temporary recycling bins have been placed in Tonbridge and Malling in a bid to reduce kerbside waste.

Kent County Council has put the cardboard and paper banks near Sainsbury's in the Angel Centre car park, near Longmead at Tonbridge Farm Sports Ground, at Asda in Kings Hill, Borough Green railway station and Larkfield Leisure Centre.

Phil Wellbrook from KMTV has been speaking to furious residents

It comes as recycling collections in the borough have been suspended until July 12 because of a national shortage of HGV drivers.

In a statement to residents, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) said: "This will help to reduce volumes of waste out for collection and be an option for residents who are able to visit the sites to recycle their mixed paper and card, as this tends to be most difficult to store due to its bulky nature.

"We ask residents to flatten cardboard boxes down and remove polystyrene and plastic.

"Waste must not be left beside the banks as this will be treated at fly-tipping and will not be recycled."

While recycling collections have stopped, black bins, for non-recycling material and food waste will be collected as normal.

The recycling bins in Porter Avenue are overflowing
The recycling bins in Porter Avenue are overflowing

The changes come after Urbaser, the company contracted by TMBC and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to carry out refuse collections, was fined for 'poor performance' and being late with rounds.

While missed collections are also a problem in Tunbridge Wells, there are no plans to suspend rounds there.

Urbaser took over in March 2019 and has faced troubles ever since.

It was fined last year after skipping up to 1,000 collections a day.

Financial penalties have also been issued by both borough councils in recent weeks because of the disruptive services.

Collections have been suspended until July 12
Collections have been suspended until July 12

Some residents have even complained about bin lorries leaving trails of litter behind them and being sworn at by refuse collectors.

The company's managing director Javier Peiro has apologised for the disruption and says he is working to address the current shortfall.

MP Tom Tugendhat says he is furious with the situation adding: “Urbaser has let the entire community down.

“This isn’t just about Tonbridge, it’s about East and West Malling and the villages in between and it’s an absolute disgrace they have breached their contract.”

The advice for residents is to put the recycling in the black bin if they can’t make it to a dumping site but residents feel this is a step backwards.

Nicola Greensmith told KMTV: “We are angry because there should be a cohesive environmental policy in place yet we are just left with all this recycling.

“If it gets taken next week we are supposed to put it in the black bin so it's all getting incinerated together.

"What kind of message is that?”

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