Wednesday, 25 November 2009


A project that would bring changes to waste and recycling collections, reduce costs and increase recycling rates in Thanet has been given the green light to proceed.

The East Kent Joint Waste Project involves Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet working on a ground breaking partnership with Kent County Council, introducing common collection arrangements for waste and recycling in all four districts over the next four years. The aim is to provide improved services at a lower cost, but delivering increased recycling rates. The project predicts savings of up to £1.5 million across the four districts and the county council each year from 2013, with the recycling rate in East Kent predicted to reach or exceed an average of 48%.

As part of the project, Dover, Shepway and Kent councils are currently tendering for a new joint waste, recycling and cleaning contract. This is set to start in October 2010, with the option of Canterbury and Thanet aligning their services in 2013.

The project aims to add food waste and glass to the materials already collected for recycling across the area, increase the levels of containerisation of waste, and seek to maximise the value of recyclate, especially paper and card. The proposals also seek to divert recyclable waste away from landfill and incineration.

The proposals are part of the wider East Kent shared services project, which aims to provide cost effective services across East Kent and make the best possible use of the councils' resources and staff expertise.
The project was today (Wednesday 25 November) given the go-ahead to proceed by the East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee, made up of lead councillors from each of the authorities involved. The proposals will now go to each of the councils for their formal approval.
Director of Environmental Services, Mark Seed, said: "Everyone is acutely aware of the financial pressures on councils at the moment and in the next few years. Here in Thanet, we are looking at savings approaching £5.9 million over the next five years across all our services, and we believe the East Kent shared services project will be a significant contributor to this. As part of this, the waste project should allow us to deliver an improved service to our residents in terms of the types of recycling that we collect, including food waste collection and glass, both of which I'm sure local people will warmly welcome. The improvement is based on getting the most income possible from recycling, by working in partnership across East Kent and with Kent County Council, and should help to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount that the councils have to pay for waste disposal."

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