Cheltenham bin men collect 10 more lorries full of rubbish than usual after Christmas
BINMEN will pick up 10 more lorries of rubbish than usual during the post-Christmas collections.
With a spike in the number of empty cans, bottles, boxes and food waste thrown away over the festive period, the period between the end of December and start of January is the busiest time of year for refuse collectors.
The lorries have to return to the depot to unload three or four times a day after Christmas, compared to just two or three times the rest of the year.
And binmen dread all the extra work they face at the busy time of year.
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Beth Boughton, a waste and recycling manager for Ubico, the borough council's waste collection company, said: "The collection after Christmas is definitely the busiest of the year. We collect 10 extra lorries more in the fortnight after Christmas than we would normally.
"A lot of people are still away at the moment, so we will get even more next week when everyone is back to work and back in their normal routine.
"We know it's going to be like this every year after Christmas, so we are prepared for it and plan accordingly."
The first recycling and food waste collection after Christmas in the Albemarle Gate area of Cheltenham took place yesterday.
Shane Kent, who was out on the round, said the post-Christmas collection was dreaded by binmen because there was so much more rubbish to collect.
He said: "You get all the extra bottles and cans, and big boxes which we cannot take because they will not fit in the lorry."
Dave Solomon, the driver of the lorry, said: "In the next two weeks we will have everything – children's toy boxes, loads of glass and cans.
"It's just the way it is at this time of year. We're used to it."
His colleague Tom Slee added: "We have found two boxes of glass at every house."
Beth said people often threw out items which simply could not fit in the back of the lorry, such as large plastic slides.
She said: "In Tewkesbury we once had a dead badger in the food waste.
"Some people put their sofa or a fridge out, thinking the refuse boys can take it, but of course they can't."