Council apologises for missed collections as rubbish piles up in Folkestone and Hythe

  • Video report by Tony Green

A council has apologised after rubbish was left piling up in Folkestone and Hythe because of problems with a new waste collection contract.

Residents have told ITV News Meridian their bins weren't collected for weeks following the start of new bin service earlier this year.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council has said sorry and that the service "wasn't good enough".

  • Residents left with 'dreadful' rubbish piles

Alan and Joyce Carolan were among those left with huge piles of waste outside of their home.

"We have always had a great service here," Alan said, "for some reason they have said that the contract has changed."

"Obviously if it didn't get picked up one week the seagulls get into it and different things get into it and then the wind blows it.

"It was dreadful."

Janice Carrera said she has only had one collection since the new contract was awarded.

She said that she'd lived in Folkestone for 20 years and had only one missed collection during that time because of heavy snow.

"What's made me so cross is that I am supposed to be assisted bins," she said, "so I should have top priority."

But the collection had actually "done the entire road and actually left" Janice's bins behind.

The disruption to services has also affected commercial collections.

Peter Christmas, who runs the Prince of Wales opposite Hythe Ranges, is among many business customers who've also been affected.

He took over the pub after lockdown, but is still not able to sort out waste collection.

"We have been in discussion with [the contractor] for at least four weeks however we don't seem to be able to get an account organised," Peter said.

"I constantly phone up and say what's going on, they're supposed to be contacting me by email and they haven't done so."

The local council, Folkestone and Hythe district, has apologised to residents for the disruption to services "as a result of route changes" brought in by the contractor.

A council spokesperson said: “The majority of residents are having their bins collected as normal.

"However, the normally excellent levels of collection services aren't being met for a large number of households as these changes are taking longer than expected to bed in.

"This just isn't good enough and we apologise to all residents affected.

“Please be assured that waste crews on the ground are working extremely hard to collect missed bins and ensure the service gets back to normal as soon as possible.”

Veoila, the contractor who runs the waste collection service in the district, said it was sorry to residents.

It said that a recent change to how they operated created a "transition period whilst our crews get used to new routes" which it warned could mean "temporary delays or missed collections, which we are working to rectify as soon as possible."

A Veoila spokesperson added: "We are monitoring the ongoing performance of the service closely to ensure any issues that arise are resolved quickly and to this end we have deployed additional vehicles and resources.

 "We anticipate that the recycling and waste collection service will steadily improve and return to its usual high standard as soon as possible.

"If your bin is missed, please continue to leave it out as we will return to collect it as soon as we can."