A rubbish start to new waste collection contract

Residents in Silverdale Road were shocked to see their recycling containers scattered over the path following last week’s collection by Urbaser and the pavement littered with leftover recycled waste.

Resident Martin Hübscher said: “I have never seen it as bad as this before.

“Not only were there scattered trays and recycling everywhere but they had also overlooked my neighbour’s recycling.”

Urbaser was awarded an eight-year contract to operate within both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling earlier this year.

The new deal, worth around £3million a year, has already proved controversial with planned garden waste collection fees of £52 coming into force in Tunbridge Wells – and £40 in Tonbridge – in September.

For the first time, residents will be offered glass recycling at the same time.

However, Urbaser, who took over the collection of waste from Biffa, has now come under fire for the quality of its service.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for St John’s, Peter Lidstone, said it was a ‘disappointing start’ to their contract.


He added: “We are looking forward to glass being collected at the doorstep from September, but Urbaser will need to work harder than this if they are to reassure residents that they won’t be stepping over broken glass in the morning.”

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council apologised for the poor service on Silverdale Road.

A spokesperson said: “We apologise to residents for the way these boxes were left.

“This is not the standard of service we aim to provide and we are very disappointed that this has happened.

“Our contractor is already aware of the issue and is carrying out an investigation into why it occurred. They will be providing further training for crews with the intention of ensuring this does not happen again.”

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