A BOURNEMOUTH restaurant chain left three tractor buckets worth of food waste on the beach during last year’s Air Festival, according to the Environment Agency.

A spokesman said the waste from the Koh Lounge marquee had been reported to them as “partially buried” by Bournemouth council.

However the council said only one cubic metre of rubbish and grey water – the run-off from dishwashers – was left on the beach by Koh (UK) Ltd.

It took refuse staff an hour to clear away the mess after it was discovered on August 31, at a cost of £1,500.

Air Festival Director Jon Weaver said: “I can confirm the council had to deal with some Koh Thai food waste and grey water that was left on the beach during last year’s Air Festival.

“The matter was dealt with satisfactorily and the contractor paid for clean-up costs, no legal action was required.”

Popular restaurant Koh Thai Tapas, which has outlets in Bournemouth, Boscombe, Poole, Southsea, Bristol and Bath, ran the Koh Lounge at the festival in 2012 and 2013, with food and cocktails, views over the bay and live TV feeds of the aircraft and other entertainment over the weekend.

The business is currently bidding to return to the festival this year, and has already received booking requests.

Koh Thai managing director Andrew Lennox said the waste had spilled from its container and not been noticed until the next day as it was dark.

“It was just one of those things,” he said.

“The council have asked for more robust systems to be put in place, and they will be this year through an upgraded commercial wash-up station.

“It is a massive operation to organise, but it is amazing for us to be able to bring what we do to the beach, and we want to make sure things are better than last year.”

Koh Thai is opening a new restaurant in Oxford in the autumn.