Skip to main content

Councillors agree new waste collection for 2023

Published Thursday 10 June, 2021
Last updated on Thursday 10 June, 2021

Councillors have agreed the principles for the new waste collection and street cleansing contract that begins in late 2023.

The current 10-year waste and recycling contract comes to an end in October 2023, and Swale Borough Council is planning for the future of the service.

Last night, the council’s cabinet agreed the new contract will continue with alternate weekly collections of general waste and recycling. They also agreed the preference for using just one container for recycling dry items such as glass, paper, tins and suitable plastics. This is currently being reviewed nationally and may be subject to change if the Government dictates that council’s must use separate containers.

It was also agreed to keep weekly food waste collections with a target of offering it to the few properties that currently don’t receive this service.

Cllr Julian Saunders, cabinet member for environment at the council, said:

“Keeping just one container for recycling is the simplest way to encourage people to recycle.

“Having separate containers for glass, paper, cans and plastic adds extra complexity to the process which will discourage recycling, and our recent waste and street cleansing survey showed two thirds of people want to keep the single container.

“Keeping food waste collections weekly is an obvious decision as almost half of local households are using it already – we just need to encourage more of the rest to do the same as using a food waste bin is easy and it really makes a difference environmentally as your food waste produces gas for energy and fertiliser for crops.

“The kerbside food caddy is collected every week, but if food goes in the general waste, it’s sat there for up to two weeks – why leave it that long?”

Cabinet also agreed to remain in the Mid Kent Waste Partnership with Ashford and Maidstone as well as adapting the street cleansing contract to improve its flexibility and improve service.

Cllr Eddie Thomas, deputy cabinet member for Environment said:

“The new contract is a chance for us to improve street cleaning services which is what residents told us in a recent survey. It also opens the door for us to reduce our carbon footprint by using more green technology.

“We are exploring options to reduce our carbon footprint such as the use of electric vehicles. These will be less damaging to the local environment and beyond.

“Being in a waste partnership with the other councils helps give us economies of scale to get more bang for our buck from the contract.

“It also helps us with greater resilience in case there are issues where we need to call on other resources.”

The cabinet meeting discussing the waste contract took place on Wednesday, 9 June and the report is available here.