Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recycling

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Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recycling
Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recycling

Angry residents have refused to separate their recycling as video footage has emerged showing bin men dumping everything into one bin to take away.

Furious residents who separated their glass and plastic into blue bins and cardboard into red bins for collectors to take have now told their council they refuse to separate their recycling. Residents in Canterbury, Kent, collected video evidence of bin men throwing everything into the same bin loads to take away. In one video workers in orange high-viz suits are seen quickly dumping rubbish from small red, black and blue bins into a larger red bin before taking it to the lorry. They were seen to be doing the same thing again on three separate occasions by locals.

Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recycling eideziqkeiqhhinvResidents furious after bin men caught emptying recycling into one in Canterbury, Kent
Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recyclingCanterbury City Council said it will now investigate

Canterbury City Council said it will now investigate but have said they will not collect the rubbish unless it is separated. Last year the council launched a crackdown to educate residents about recycling as well as increase their checks on whether residents were recycling and had warned that contaminated loads would not be emptied by the authority's waste collection firm, Canenco.

One former binman, Martin Johnson, 66, said waste workers were making a 'mockery' of people's diligence in responsibly separating their rubbish. He says: "I am a very keen recycler because this is what the world wants us to do. Obviously in my youth, it was no problem at all – but we are using up the Earth’s resources at a hell of a rate of knots and we need to do something to help the planet.

“Having previously been an agency dustcart driver and knowing how things operate from the inside, I was dismayed by seeing it all go into one part of the truck. I assume they take it to the recycling site and tip it up altogether. I thought they would put the cardboard in one part of the truck and the rest in the other. It made me so annoyed that I phoned them."

'Reduce reuse recycle hun' - Depop order comes wrapped in dirty crisp packet'Reduce reuse recycle hun' - Depop order comes wrapped in dirty crisp packet
Residents fury as camera catches binmen mixing carefully separated recyclingMartin Johnson has told the council he is refuses to separate his recycling now

Mr Johnson has said Canenco workers were also seen off camera combining recyclables. He has since phoned the council to tell them he refuses to separate his recycling, but has been told his bins will not be collected.

"I told them, that’s it, I’m not sorting out my recycling anymore and I’m going to chuck it all into one bin", says Mr Johnson. "The lady on the other end of the phone said, ‘Excuse me, sir, we won’t pick it up'. I told her they will, as that’s what they’re doing anyway. At the time, we didn’t have the proof but now we have the videos. It makes me furious. It makes a mockery of our diligence in separating it all."

Canterbury City Council previously revealed that due to 'irresponsible' householders dumping the wrong items into bins, more than 670 tonnes of contaminated recycling had to be sent to landfill across the district in 2021. To add to residents’ frustration, GMB members working for Canenco have been striking for the past three weeks - causing further disruption to waste collections.

City Council spokesman Rob Davies confirmed an investigation had been launched into the incidents, and issued an apology to Mr Johnson. Mr Davies said: “Clearly it is not acceptable for this to happen when residents have spent their time carefully separating their recycling," Mr Davies said. We thank Mr Johnson for making us aware of these incidents and apologise to him. We can reassure Mr Johnson that this will be fully investigated and appropriate action is taken."

Maryam Qaiser

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