Rubbish service can only get better
Elton John once sung about how ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word’ but Ashford council has wasted little time in publicly apologising for the troubled start to the borough’s new recycling regime. Council leader Gerry Clarkson admitted that the amount of waste that households had left out for collection was more than double what was expected, meaning more than 100 streets missed their plannned pick-up last week.
It is rare for those in public life to admit that something has gone wrong on their watch, so Cllr Clarkson deserves some credit for his apology to residents, but most are now interested in what is being done to put those problems right.
The new service is only into its third week and some teething problems are inevitable with a project on this scale but the sheer volume of complaints – to the Kentish Express office alone – shows that something has gone badly wrong that must be fixed as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Clarkson’s apology has been echoed by Biffa, the contractors behind the new service. The company says it is ‘comfortable’ with its overall performance level so far but, as it acknowledges, that is little consolation to those whose bins haven’t been collected.
Households across Ashford will now be hoping that these conciliatory words are followed by swift actions.