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Bin collection action plan for Tonbridge and Malling after weeks of problems

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An action plan is in place to tackle months of bin collection problems.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council held an emergency meeting yesterday after it was revealed up to 1,000 collections a day were being missed.

Rubbish in Rock Road, Borough Green
Rubbish in Rock Road, Borough Green

The local authority met with Urbaser, the company contracted out to collect the rubbish, for three hours to come up with measures to resolve the issue.

This includes an additional 20 trucks and 50 more staff to be deployed.

The size of collection rounds will also be reassessed and new lorries which focus on collecting either recycling or food waste, not both, will be introduced.

Additional inspectors will be put in place at depots and on rounds to monitor performance and a rapid response team will be set up to fix faults with lorries.

Urbaser has agreed to reduce its reliance on agency staff and will help to identify repeatedly missed 'hot-spots'.

Numeous homeowners complained to the council
Numeous homeowners complained to the council

The council will also increase temporary staffing to deal with complaints and reports of missed bins.

Problems with the service began when new recycling arrangements were introduced in September.

A spokesman for Tonbridge and Malling Council (TMBC) said: "Due to the higher than anticipated volume of waste being collected, the trucks were often filling up before a round was completed, resulting in delays to collections for many homes."

Cllr Nicolas Heslop, leader of the council, said: “We are determined to sort the problems and are moving quickly to implement these plans the coming days.

"On behalf of the council, I would like to apologise to residents who have had problems with bin collections but also to assure them that there will be no let-up in our response until a reliable service is being delivered.”

Rubbish was left outside for weeks
Rubbish was left outside for weeks

Urbaser must pay a fine to the borough and it is warned the fees could rise if problems continue.

Writing to Javier Peiro, the company's director, Julie Beilby, TMBC's chief executive, wrote: "The time for excuses and apologies is over."

Residents have been left with overflowing waste outside their homes for weeks.

MPs Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch wrote to the council expressing their concerns.

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge

Read more: All the latest news from Malling

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