(Joint report of the Cabinet Member for Technical and Waste Services and the Director of Street Scene, Leisure and Technical Services)
Following its temporary suspension, Cabinet considered the future of the Saturday Freighter Service. Consideration was also given to recommendation CE 22/5 (1) from the Communities and Environment Scrutiny Select Committee of 20 July 2022.
Careful consideration was given to the fact that the service did not encourage recycling; none of the waste collected, apart from electrical items, could be recycled; alternative disposal opportunities were now available to residents (as detailed in 1.3 of the report) including the recent opening of KCC’s Household Waste Recycling Centre at Allington; environmental factors; that there appeared to be no correlation between the level of incidents of fly tipping and the continued suspension of the service and customer feedback.
Particular reference was made to the financial and value for money considerations (as detailed in 1.9 of the report) and it was recognised that the reinstatement of the service would impact on the income received by the Borough Council from the bookable bulky collection service and the recycling Performance Payments received from KCC. However, the impact of either of these elements was difficult to estimate.
It was also noted that a Saturday Freighter was not provided by other local authorities in Kent, with the exception of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and the service was discretionary.
On the grounds that alternative opportunities for the disposal of bulky items existed, that data suggested no correlation between increased fly tipping and the suspension of the service, that the service did not promote or incentivise residents to recycle and did not support the Borough Council’s Climate Change Strategy and that the non-reinstatement of the service would deliver a saving compared to the current budget provision Cabinet RESOLVED that:
(1) the recommendation of the Communities and Environment Scrutiny Select Committee to remove the Saturday Freighter Service be approved.