Tonbridge residents fear avalanche of bins under new system
TONBRIDGE residents fear they will be buried beneath an avalanche of plastic containers after borough councillors voted in favour of a new six-bin recycling collection system.
Under the new scheme – which will cost an estimated £500,000 a year to run, plus a one-off £560,000 fee for new containers – plastics and glass will be added to the list of materials already collected from households.
It will mean people dividing their household waste and recyclables into six different receptacles, instead of the current three.
Kathleen Carwardine, of Delius Drive, Tonbridge, said it was likely to cause chaos in many households.
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"The fact that we are to be given more bins to fill will only make life more difficult and confusing to some, me included," she said.
"The result could be chaotic. There will be many properties with very small gardens or yards with insufficient space for any extra sorting receptacles."
The plans were approved at the local environmental management advisory board meeting and will replicate a successful system piloted in Dover for one year.
Final approval is expected to be granted by the council's cabinet on Wednesday.
Borough council spokeswoman Debi Rice said the changes were being made in response to requests from residents.
She said: "The council is confident residents will welcome the new service if given the go-ahead and will not find the extra small containers an inconvenience.
"We already appreciate there will be some properties which may not be suitable for the new service or that more bespoke arrangements will be required in flats etc."
Larch Crescent resident Judith Sands welcomed the increase in collections but was concerned pavements could become littered with empty bins on collection days.
In a letter to the Courier, she wrote: "The single waste bin collection and the green bin and paper box collection days see the bins dumped on the pavement in the binmen's haste to return them to the right houses.
"Let's hope training on the new collections will include advice on how to leave the bins back where they were found."
But Audrey Mitchell, of Kelvin Close, was pleased the council was making an effort to be greener. She said: "The increase in containers doesn't worry me. It sounds like it should be quite good, but I still don't think they're doing enough.
"I have no idea why we don't have a system like in Australia though. Out there, one guy on his own drives the vehicle and collects all the recycling and puts the materials into separate compartments. They're years ahead of us."