Council chiefs have branded a video of a bin collector pouring food waste into a general rubbish bin as “bitterly disappointing”.
The clip, posted by Jonathan Gwyer on Facebook, shows a Serco worker picking up the food bin and emptying its contents into the bigger bin during a collection – despite residents being ordered to separate their waste by Canterbury City Council.
The footage, filmed in Columbia Avenue, Whitstable, sparked a flood of angry replies by others, who said their own bins would not be taken away if their rubbish was mixed up.
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One frustrated Tenterden Drive resident said he too had witnessed binmen emptying the food recycling bins into the black bins, which is meant for general rubbish.
“I rang the council and asked if there was any point in recycling food as the bin men don’t bother to recycle," he said.
“They are the first to refuse to take a bin if it doesn’t have the right thing inside.”
VIDEO: The binman is caught mixing food waste with general rubbish
David Ford, head of commissioned services, said it was bitterly disappointing to see the clip.
“Along with Serco, we apologise to our residents for this poor behaviour,” he said.
“We know and appreciate that residents across the district put a great deal of effort into ensuring their recycling goes into the right containers each week and how demoralising it is when situations like this occur.
"This behaviour by one of our agency workers is completely unacceptable..." - Paul Fitzgerald, Serco
“The council and Serco are absolutely clear that such action cannot and will not be tolerated and we are pleased that Serco has taken swift action to deal with the matter and the individual concerned.
“I want to thank our residents for bringing the matter to our attention and encourage people to continue to report such incidents to us.”
Paul Fitzgerald, Serco’s assistant contract manager, said: "We very much value the efforts residents make to separate their waste and we work hard to provide them with a high standard of service.
"This behaviour by one of our agency workers is completely unacceptable and I would like to apologise and reassure residents that we are taking the matter very seriously.
"We have already taken disciplinary action against the individual and I will also be speaking to all our crews to remind them of their responsibilities."