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Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council could fine residents for leaving wheelie bins in road

By Caitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

Residents could be fined or sent to court for constantly leaving their wheelie bins on the road.

If wheelie bins are persistently left on the highway outside of collection times, enforcement action could be considered in areas of west Kent.

These regulations are part of a new joint contract with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) for waste and recycling.

Two councils in the county are considering the action Picture: Urbaser
Two councils in the county are considering the action Picture: Urbaser

Under this agreement, collection will also be restricted to no further than 10 meters from where the rubbish truck passes on the road.

This will be the first time legal action could be considered for repeat offenders who block the roads with their wheelie bins.

This is according to a council report, which was presented at TMBC's street scene and environment services advisory board yesterday (February 11).

Cllr Tim Shaw (Ind) shared his support for plans to penalise residents who leave their bins out due to complaints from his constituents in Borough Green.

He said: "I have had a lot of feedback about residents deeply upset about the state of play as people are being allowed to get away with leaving rubbish bins continually on the pavements.

"We are talking about a dozen in a row causing an awful eyesore and people are certainly not happy about it..." Cllr Tim Shaw

"We are not talking one or two bins, we are talking about a dozen in a row causing an awful eyesore and people are certainly not happy about it."

However Cllr Mark Rhodes (Con) shared his concerns about people who have nowhere else to put their wheelie bins for collection.

While Cllr Jill Anderson (Con) hopes these rules will also apply to the bin men themselves as she has a blind neighbour who finds it very difficult to manoeuvre around the bins lefts in the middle of the pavement.

Dan Dibdin from the new contractor, Urbaser, said the staff will receive training and cameras will be installed on the vehicles to ensure regulations are met.

Urbaser has been hired by the councils for a new service which includes collecting food waste, textiles and batteries from outside residents' homes.

Cllr Jill Anderson
Cllr Jill Anderson

Small electrical items like hairdryers and toasters will also be picked up from the kerbside for the first time.

Unwanted or worn out clothes and paired shoes in a carrier bag will also be collected fortnightly.

Residents can opt-in for garden waste collection for £40 per year with a £5 early bird discount if signed up between May 7 and August 2.

All homes will be provided with a 240-litre black wheeled bin for refuse but the council intend to reduce this to 180-litres to encourage recycling.

A 240-litre green lidded wheelie bin would be handed out free of charge for cans, plastics, glass bottles, jars and cartons.

Bins consistently left blocking the highway could mean a fine for the owners
Bins consistently left blocking the highway could mean a fine for the owners

Properties without wheelie bins will receive 52 black sacks, a 60-litre reusable recycling bag, and a green box to be used for paper and cardboard.

Assisted collections can be offered to residents who are physically unable to place their own bins outside their homes following the confirmation from a risk assessment.

Waste that cannot fit in the black wheelie bin may not be collected but excess recyclables will if they are"suitably contained".

If the household produces too much food waste to fit in the caddy, additional food bins will be provided.

The company would take over from the previous contractor for TMBC from March 1 and TWBC the month after but the service will begin from September 30.

This contract is set to be finalised at TMBC cabinet meeting on Thursday.

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