A binman has been sacked and two agency workers let go after they were caught on camera mixing carefully separated recycling and rubbish.
Leopold Slayter, 61, captured the refuse collectors “throwing bins around” outside his home and stuffing the waste he and his neighbours had taken their time to carefully separate.
In the first video, filmed on March 29, two binmen can clearly be seen removing the paper and cardboard container from Mr Slayter’s bin.
They then empty this into his neighbour’s paper recycling box, before tipping the contents into the main body of the bin, which holds cans, glass and plastic.
While pouring the contents of the boxes into Mr Slayter’s bin, they ignore a flurry of litter that falls to the ground.
After emptying the bin into the lorry the pair leave, with rubbish and recycling boxes still scattered across the pavement.
Mr Slayter, who has lived in Canterbury, Kent, for 35 years was at home when his CCTV camera captured the incidents.
He said: “I saw these guys from Serco collecting the bins. They seemed to be messing around.
“Then I noticed they were emptying cartons into my bin, and mixing the paper with cans and so on.
“I thought that was bad enough until one of them tipped paper into my caddy and it flew out, and they just left it strewn over the pavement. I was completely astounded by it. It was unbelievable.
“I spend time, and other residents in the area spend time, putting all their recycling in the right containers, and then these workers decide to be fools.
“You can’t tell in the video, but they were laughing and joking. One of the men actually swaggered away. They were so brazen – it’s just taking the mickey out of the system.”
Another video, taken on April 12, captures a different Serco employee committing a similar error – contaminating the contents of Mr Slayter’s bin by tipping in paper and cardboard.
Mr Slayter said the experience has made him question whether there is any point in recycling.
He added: “People do separate their waste.
“I’ve gone out of my way purely because I want to help the environment.
“But if this keeps happening, I may as well just forget it.”
Serco has since dismissed one member of staff and is no longer using two agency workers caught cross-contaminating recyclables in the damning footage.
Rob Davies, spokesman for Canterbury City Council and Serco, said: “We are aware of two videos regarding the mixing of recyclable materials in Jesuit Close.
“Both the council and Serco consider this to be completely unacceptable behaviour.
“Residents take time to carefully separate their recycling, and for these efforts to be undermined by the actions of the people in these videos is very disappointing.
“The first incident was reported on the day and investigated immediately through Serco’s disciplinary process.
“One of the loaders in the video was an agency worker, and has not been used by Serco since that day.
“The other loader was a full time member of staff, and following the investigation, was dismissed.
”The second incident was also swiftly investigated. This involved an agency worker and he is also no longer being used by Serco.
“All refuse and recycling collection staff have been reminded of their responsibilities regarding collections, returning containers correctly and clearing up any dropped rubbish.”
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