Residents are asked to be patient
Despite countless complaints about the new refuse and recycling collection, the contractors behind the service say they are “comfortable” with the “performance levels” so far.
However, waste firm Biffa, which started working with Ashford Borough Council in April this year, has now apologised to residents following criticism about un-emptied refuse and recycling wheelie bins.
A Biffa spokesman said: “We apologise to all residents who are not happy with these very early stages of the new service roll-out.
“Whilst this is no consolation to those personally affected, we have introduced a drastically different service to over 50,000 households and, overall, are comfortable with performance levels at this early stage.
“Biffa has implemented new and very successful ways of collecting refuse and recycling for a number of local authorities over the past few years.
“In our extensive experience, they all have something in common: serv- ice levels are always affected in the first few weeks or so but these problems do diminish fairly quickly in both frequency and severity.”
The 10-year contract between Biffa and ABC was signed last year, and in partnership with Maidstone and Swale councils, will cost a total of £86 million.
ABC said the new service would result in a £5 million saving.
Bosses from Biffa admitted they anticipated disruptions in the early weeks of the roll-out and explained that some rounds in Ashford were not fully completed because crews were having to familiarise themselves with new routes, new equipment and new ways of working.
The Biffa spokesman added: “Crews have also been dealing with an extraordinarily high volume of recycling as residents have been stockpiling materials for many weeks.”
Biffa added that while it is expecting the volume of waste to settle down in the coming weeks, it asks for residents’ patience.
The Biffa spokesman added: “On behalf of all Biffa’s managers and crews who are working hard to get the service right in very hot conditions, I would ask all Ashford residents to be patient and understanding.
“The service will return to its previous high standards.
“Residents are asked to ensure that they put out the right wheeled bin and other collection containers on the correct day, and to ensure that these are clearly visible at their property edge.
“If bins are not collected, residents should leave them out for collection in the following day or so.”