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Outrage as UK town has turned into ‘slum’ in bin row | UK | News


Outrage as UK town has turned into 'slum' in bin row | UK | News


Residents tormented by persistent bin collection woes have branded their street a “slum”.

In Ashford, Kent, some exasperated homeowners have resorted to daily disinfectant sprays on the rotting rubbish piles. The turmoil follows the transition to Suez Recycling and Recovery UK, which assumed control of the £152 million waste contract from Biffa in areas including Ashford, Swale, and Maidstone since March 25.

The new service has been marred by issues, sparking hundreds of complaints from irate locals. Delays in collections have become so severe that some residents are shelling out for private firms to take away their refuse throughout the county.

Residents in Longbridge, Willesborough Lees, have seen no sign of food waste and recycling bin collections since May 1. Even the regular household waste pickup failed to occur last week.

David and Joan Cossey, retirees who’ve called their street home for a decade, have condemned the council’s communication as utterly inadequate. Mr Cossey, aged 84, said: “The whole situation has just got steadily worse as the month has gone on.”

“I feel the honeymoon period is over for everyone involved after two months now. I don’t know why we are paying about £200 each month in council tax when nobody is helping us.

“We have called Ashford Borough Council (ABC) multiple times for weeks now but can never get through, so it’s just so inconsistent.”

 “The smells here are now horrific and with the woods at the back of the road there is a fear of foxes causing a mess. The weather is also getting hotter, so that’s why I’m spraying the bins with disinfectant every day.”

Another resident, Kevan Johnson, 66, who has resided in Longbridge since 2006, said: “It just really needs sorting because you’d think we’re turning into a third-world country with how badly it is snowballing.”

Rod and Beverly Maller, a couple living in the area, shared similar sentiments. Mr Maller, 68, said: “It makes you scared to look in the bins because you know there’s going to be maggots in them judging by the smell.”

Mrs Maller added: “Our road hasn’t been looked at and it’s turned into a slum.”Residents across Ashford have reported similar issues with the new provider. Joanne Veryard, a charity shop worker living with her parents in Boxley, South Ashford, revealed that both her recycling and food waste bins have not been collected since May 4.

When asked about the impact on her family, the 41 year old said: “Our bins sit along a path in front of the house. But because everyone’s are just sitting there, mobility scooters and pushchairs cannot get through. We have to leave them there though because we’re all worried they won’t be collected after we’ve pulled them up towards the house overnight.”

Elena Rooker, a resident of Hawks Way, Beaver Green, who lives with her husband Steve, is holding onto “hope” that their waste will be collected. The 55 year old revealed: “We haven’t had our recycling collected since the last day of April and it has just stayed in front of our house since then. It has started to smell so it isn’t very pleasant. An advisor from the council told me our road was going to see the bins emptied on May 21 but this hasn’t happened yet. We’re all just waiting and hoping now.”

In response to the delays, Ashford Borough Council has issued an apology to its residents.

A statement from the local authority read: “We are working closely with Suez to overcome these issues to minimise disruption during this transitional period. We have had to make some changes in service vehicles and to routes and rounds which has taken longer than we anticipated.

“These changes have meant that our missed bin reporting system has been unavailable for some time. This has been rectified and the system will now allow you to report all missed bins online. We are sorry for any inconvenience this is causing and thank everyone for their patience during this time.”

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