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Waste and recycling centre consultation response

Monday 29 October

Response to county council waste charges consultation

The deadline for responding to Kent County Council's (KCC) consultation on plans to introduce charges for soil, rubble and hardcore (£4 per bag) and plasterboard (£6 per bag) at their HWRC’s closes on Thursday, 1 November.

Currently, there are no charges for residents wanting to dispose of these items, and KCC want to hear residents’ views on the proposals.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at Swale Borough Council, has responded on behalf of the council, expressing concerns with the proposals:

"Swale Borough Council are very concerned about the possible impact of these changes on a variety of areas including fly-tipping, residual waste collections, recycling rates, and the value of “waste” items lost. The shared local authority focus should be on making it easier for residents to recycle, not more difficult if we are really serious about the environment.

"As with any additional charging, Swale BC have concerns around the likelihood that it will increase fly tipping of the chargeable items (along with any other items that are discarded).

"As neighbouring boroughs do charge, could KCC request proof of address when tipping this material as this will ensure that the service is only provided for Kent residents?

"What strategic work has been undertaken by KCC to generate a market for recycled building materials, thus turning them into valuable commodities? Much of the hardcore/soil could be treated and re-used on new local building projects if schemes or incentives are introduced to use these recycled materials over other less environmentally friendly products (e.g legislative targets or tax breaks). Alternatively, a charge could be placed on new, less environmentally friendly building materials which pays for the treatment of recycling the old materials at end of life. Such environmental schemes already exist in other commercial areas.

"What work has KCC undertaken to encourage the re-use of materials such as bricks that are taken to the HWRC’s?

"These changes may encourage chargeable wastes such as plasterboard to get discretely mixed in with other household waste which may contaminate much larger batches of waste and classifying these large batches of waste as ‘special’ or ‘hazardous’ (depending on the material mixed in). This would consequently cost KCC significantly more to dispose of.

"Swale BC will continue to closely monitor flytipping and especially the levels of these materials being deposited as fly tipping. If the number of flytips that include such materials increases then the costs for the district council (the waste collection authority) will consequently increase. In this eventuality, what actions will KCC undertake to rectify the situation?"

There are three HWRC’s operated by Kent County Council in Swale – Faversham, Sheerness and Sittingbourne.

The consultation launched on September 6 and runs until November 1.

You can complete the online questionnaire at on the Kent County Council website

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