Agenda item

Waste Services Contract

Presentation by the Head of Waste Services and the Administration Manager


The Head of Waste Services outlined proposals for the Waste Services Contract for refuse, recycling and street cleansing as the current contract was due to end in February 2019.


Partnership opportunities for the future delivery of these services were currently being developed with neighbouring West Kent authorities and Kent County Council, although the final details were still to be defined and agreed.  However, the main aim was to deliver service improvements and efficiencies, greater consistency across the County, increased recycling performance and an operation that represented value for money.


The current proposals being considered included a weekly food waste, fortnightly residual waste, fortnightly dry recycling of paper and card and glass, cans, plastics and cartons kerbside collection model.  Proposals also included the introduction of a fortnightly garden waste ‘opt in’ charged service.   It was reported that charges were necessary in underpinning the proposed service improvements.


It was indicated that Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council was in the minority of local authorities across Kent that did not currently charge for the collection of garden waste.


The County Councillor representing Malling North welcomed the opportunity of partnership working with a number of borough/district councils as it offered a more uniform approach across Kent.   In addition, the Borough Council were congratulated on the excellent service they currently offered residents.


The Panel supported the introduction of kerbside collection for glass and plastic, whilst recognising the challenge around co-mingling of materials.  Members were assured that Kent County Council, as the authority with responsibility for disposal of waste, were actively involved in all discussions regarding co-mingling and their input was greatly appreciated.  


There was also some concern expressed that charging for garden waste collection could potentially increase the levels of fly tipping.  In response, Members were advised that where charges for green waste had been introduced by other local authorities there was no evidence to show that levels of fly tipping had increased.  It was expected that households already producing significant garden waste would choose to opt in. 


Details relating to some services and the introduction of charges for garden waste were yet to be finalised by the Borough Council as some decisions were dependent upon the tender. However, it was noted that the national average charge for garden waste collection was approximately £42 per annum. 


The Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Environment Services indicated that the Borough Council had agreed the principle of charging for garden waste but not the final detail.  This was a positive opportunity to improve and increase services for residents and represented value for money.


Other areas discussed included the lack of a KCC Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in the Borough, which meant that some residents were forced to visit other areas; the upgraded facility at Blaise Farm which would accept co-mingled and separated green waste materials, home composting and whether the Saturday bulky collection service would continue to take garden waste.  With regard to the latter, options would be reviewed in due course.


If kerbside collection increased it was anticipated that the need to travel to recycling points would reduce and offered a more convenient service to residents.  In addition

the number of recycling sites across the Borough would reduce although a number would be retained at strategic core sites for those properties not able to receive the new kerbside collection service, such as flats.


Finally, it was noted that good communication, publicity and marketing would be key to resident participation and the success of the new services.  The service delivery options around the Waste Services Contract continued and further detail would be forthcoming as the process developed.

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