I thought it was swell but now it’s just swill

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Waste Collection Latest -

I fully agree with the coun­cil’s pol­icy on re­cy­cling and for two weeks now have fol­lowed the guid­ance book­let in­struc­tions on what to put in each bin.

How­ever, even though our food waste is min­i­mal, I’m ap­palled at the state of the 23-litre caddy af­ter it is emp­tied – the stench and wet de­posits left are ut­terly un­hy­gienic and dis­gust­ing.

It’s as if we are go­ing back to the days when waste food was saved in a bin by the house­holder and col­lected by coun­cils for on­ward trans­mis­sion to be dis­trib­uted for “pig-swill”.

The in­struc­tion book­let states that the food caddy may be lined with news­pa­per or spe­cial com­postable lin­ers – a small quan­tity of which has been sup­plied.

I use th­ese lin­ers (and in­ci­den­tally have pur­chased a large sup­ply on­line) plus lin­ing the caddy with news­pa­per. But the re­sult is still to­tally re­volt­ing and re­plul­sive. Surely in this day and age the coun­cil must be able to de­vise a health­ier op­tion for col­lect­ing food waste than the one now utilised?

I’ve writ­ten to ABC re­gard­ing this hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion but I won’t hold my breath that a so­lu­tion will be forth­com­ing!

I’m off to scour and dis­in­fect my caddy yet again... Stella Draper Ash­ford

My rub­bish in my new fancy bins was sup­posed to be col­lected on Thurs­day un­der the new scheme. I duly put out my food waste and black waste bin and re­turned in the evening to find it rot­ting nicely in the sun along with our whole street.

I left it there Fri­day for an­other day of rot­ting and then called the coun­cil Fri­day evening. A back­log, I was told – it would def­i­nitely be taken by the end of Satur­day.

On Sun­day lucky Mr Fox man­aged to jump on the food waste bin and knock the clever lid down, spilling out all the food, so he had a good lunch and fol­lowed this by mov­ing on to my live chick­ens for Sun­day din­ner.

To­day is Mon­day and still I wait for a col­lec­tion, and Mr Fox is no doubt wait­ing for din­ner! I am told af­ter sit­ting on hold for 10 min­utes that there have been prob­lems. Have more houses jumped up since last week or were the coun­cil just not ready to im­ple­ment their new sys­tem?

So far I am one chicken down and sev­eral litres of wa­ter used to clean yo­ghurt pots and milk bot­tles, etc. Alexan­dra Par­sons West­well Lea­con

Your news­pa­per’s cov­er­age and edi­to­rial re­gard­ing Ash­ford’s new re­cy­cling pro­gram was ex­cel­lent.

As a yearly vis­i­tor to Ash­ford I was quite sur­prised at the lack of an ef­fec­tive res­i­den­tial re­cy­cling pro­gram.

I have been in­volved in re­cy­cling pro­grams in Canada since their in­cep­tion 35 years ago. How­ever, I have been truly im­pressed with Ash­ford’s launch of their new pro­gram.

Af­ter read­ing the clear and con­cise lit­er­a­ture and ob­serv­ing the de­liv­ery of the bins I am amazed. To progress from a nearly non-ex­is­tent pro­gram to a “cut­ting edge” ini­tia­tive is ad­mirable.

Well done Ash­ford, I hope the pro­gram is a re­sound­ing suc­cess. You are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in your en­vi­ron­ment, to the ben­e­fit of your chil­dren. Elaine Nadalin Wood­stock, On­tario, Canada

The first day of the new waste col­lec­tion seemed to go so well: I am dis­abled but for­tu­nately my 10-year-old daugh­ter had no prob­lem mov­ing the grey bin to the pave­ment.

She as­sured me that she can han­dle the big­ger green bin as well. That was good news.

Shortly af­ter the waste col­lec­tion I took the food bin in, opened it and was over­whelmed by a strong stench. I no­ticed that the egg shells were miss­ing. Ev­ery­thing else was still in there, stuck on the bot­tom in a big, damp, stinky, moldy clump. Dis­gust­ing!

This taught me a les­son. I won’t put moist food waste into this bin again but put it in tightly sealed plas­tic bags into the grey bin. We don’t have a lot food waste any­way. B. Had­drell Waterside, Ash­ford

All the bins we were given for rub­bish seemed a worry to us ini­tially but the big up­side I have no­ticed is how tidy our streets are now on col­lec­tion days. No more bags be­ing torn open by gulls and foxes. I think in time we will all see the ben­e­fits. David Flight Ash­ford

Well done to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil and Biffa for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new re­cy­cling and refuse ser­vice. I know there have been a few is­sues but th­ese are on the whole spo­radic ver­sus the scale of the roll­out and task in hand.

Three months ago many parts of the bor­ough didn’t even have blue re­cy­cling boxes and those that did were se­verely limited in what they could re­cy­cle.

The crews are hav­ing to work longer hours in this ex­treme heat to get to grips with new rounds and ways of work­ing. They should be con­grat­u­lated by us all for a job well done.

It’s now down to us as res­i­dents to en­sure we re­cy­cle as much as pos­si­ble to ben­e­fit our en­vi­ron­ment. It’s re­ally not hard! Adam Hunter Cole­mans Close, Kingsnorth the vis­i­tors from else­where be com­ing to visit Ash­ford, or just John Lewis?

And what will the ef­fect be on town cen­tre stores, which will in­evitably be pay­ing higher rents for their ‘prime’ lo­ca­tion?

As we are con­tin­u­ing to re­lo­cate our ser­vices out of town, I won­der what we should do with the town cen­tre. Do we just ac­cept that in this age of in­ter­net shop­ping and per­pet­ual re­ces­sion that the empty shops won’t be com­ing back?

Maybe we should con­vert some into af­ford­able hous­ing, which in turn might breathe back some life.

High prop­erty prices, in both town and coun­try, mean lit­tle dis­pos­able in­come, so they don’t seem so de­sir­able to me un­less you’re al­ready loaded.

When my Rus­sian girl­friend vis­its I am al­most em­bar­rassed as we walk past all the boarded-up shops and pubs, but her opin­ion is rather more rosy; ‘Ash­ford is a nice town,’ she al­ways says.

So I sup­pose we should keep things in per­spec­tive. On the plus side, the fast train to Lon­don is ex­cel­lent (al­though a bit pricey), there are a hand­ful of newer drink­ing es­tab­lish­ments to off­set the over­all losses a lit­tle, the de­signer out­let seems buoy­ant and the cy­cle paths are more com­pre­hen­sive than in many Kent towns.

And fi­nally, fol­low­ing a visit to Mil­ton Keynes, I can say that Ash­ford looked pos­i­tively quaint. It’s all rel­a­tive I guess! Adam Colton West View, Ham­street

Per­son­ally, I think the stan­dard of shops in the town cen­tre leaves a lot to be de­sired.

There are too many of the same kind of shops, eg hair­dressers/beauty salons, es­tate agents, mo­bile phone shops, char­ity shops and cheap dis­count shops. The old Block­buster store is now one of th­ese – surely the town does not need an­other of th­ese shops?

I wish the town cen­tre had more up­mar­ket shops, as it is turn­ing into a cheap and nasty place. Of course, there must al­ways be a va­ri­ety of shops to suit all tastes but I think things have gone too far. I do not now find the town cen­tre to be a nice en­vi­ron­ment to shop.

There were re­ports of Mor­risons tak­ing over some Block­buster stores so why, if Ash­ford town cen­tre was so at­trac­tive to new busi­nesses, did they not take over the one in the town?

That would have given the town a good qual­ity shop and, be­lieve me, it needs more qual­ity shops.

Ev­ery time a new shop opens you can all but guar­an­tee which sort of shop it is go­ing to be.

I know this may be a bit harsh but I want Ash­ford to have more choice for ev­ery­one and per­haps peo­ple could have more pride in their town. Terry Lewis Ash­ford

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