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Rubbish overflowing in Whitstable leads to call for bigger bins

By Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Residents are calling for action to be taken to clamp down on overspilling bins during busy summer months.

This weekend saw thousands of people packed onto Whitstable’s beaches to enjoy the bank holiday heatwave.

Photos taken by a member of campaign group Plastic Free Whitstable (PFW) on Saturday morning show bins along the seafront overflowing, and rubbish strewn across the beach.

Video taken by Dawn Croft on Sunday morning

It has sparked concerns the problem will only worsen, leaving many calling for larger bins.

Several years ago, Canterbury City Council trialled larger bins, but they were removed after some residents were concerned they were an “eyesore”.

Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable
Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable

However, Plastic Free Whitstable members say the time could now be right for the bins to be tried again.

A spokesman said: “That was before we knew as much about plastic and the environment.

Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable
Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable

"Now people are much more aware of it, it’s a different time - the bins are really needed and they would be used now.

“The best thing would be to get more signs encouraging people to take their litter with them if it doesn’t fit in the bin, as well as bigger bins. Proper bins where you can recycle.

"What the public need to think is if I have a beach hut or home in Whitstable, I’ll take my rubbish with me.

"If I’m from out of town, then I’ll use the bins. You shouldn’t be leaving your rubbish by the bins.”

Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable
Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable

Cllr Ashley Clark echoed PFW’s comments, saying: “The town was packed over the weekend. At the end of the day, people should be taking their litter home with them.”

Meanwhile, many other residents were full of praise for Serco - a private company contracted by the city council to manage waste across the district.

On Monday, Emma Gibbons took to Facebook to thank the bin men for their hard work, saying: “Tankerton Beach was absolutely spotless at 7.30am this morning thanks to the grand efforts of our fab Serco guys out and about early.”

City council spokesman Rob Davies said the authority will look at whether more bins are needed on the seafront.

Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable
Bins overflowing on Saturday morning. Picture: Plastic Free Whitstable

He said: “This societal problem is deeply frustrating for everyone involved in looking after Whitstable - us, Serco and the magnificent volunteers who back up the formal cleaning that takes place.

"It was good to see the well-deserved praise for Serco’s staff on social media, who worked their socks off over the long weekend to ensure the town looked the very best it could.

“Along the seafront between the skate park at Swalecliffe and Sherrin’s Alley there are 73 litter bins.

"There are around 80 more in other key locations such as Tankerton Slopes and the high street. We believe this to be a very good number for the size of the town.

"But we keep these issues under regular review and will be looking at whether any tweaks are needed as we approach summer.”

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

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