Plans to improve recycling services in Tonbridge and Malling

Published: 23 November 2017

Proposals for improved recycling

Plans to improve recycling services in Tonbridge and Malling have moved a step closer after Councillors agreed to proposals for a new West Kent Joint Waste Project, which could see the Borough’s residents being able to add plastics and glass to the long list of items they can recycle on their doorstep.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is working with Dartford Borough Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council to consider how they might best deliver a new, joint household recycling, waste and street cleaning service for residents across West Kent. This project is being assisted by the Kent Resource Partnership, which works to improve how waste is managed across the county.

Existing collection contracts in all three Borough Council areas come to an end in 2019, which presents an ideal opportunity for the Councils to consider how a joint contract could improve services and efficiency, increase recycling rates and generate financial savings. Discussions regarding the potential new services are moving forward and the tendering process, which will include an option for a new partnership contract, will begin in December this year. If the proposed new joint contract goes ahead, residents in all three Council areas will see a number of improvements to their recycling and waste services.

In Tonbridge & Malling, the new services would begin in 2019 and would include:

  • A weekly food waste collection (A new food waste caddy would be provided)
  • An alternating fortnightly collection of mixed dry recyclables including plastics, metals, cartons and glass in a wheeled bin (the current green-lidded bin) with a separate container (the current green box) for paper and card.
  • An alternating fortnightly collection of residual waste which can’t be recycled (current black bin). This waste would continue to go to the Energy-from-waste Plant in Allington.
  • A separate fortnightly collection of garden waste (A new brown wheeled bin would be provided) – Residents would be able to ‘opt in’ to this service for a small annual charge if they wish to do so. This charge would help fund the proposed improvements to kerbside recycling services.

It is hoped that, if the proposed new services go ahead, savings of more than £3m could be generated collectively across the four authorities and that average recycling performance could increase to over 50 per cent. However, this is all subject to the tender process and will depend on the tender submissions provided by contractors. Tenders are due to be assessed between April & June 2018, with a final decision being made in July or August.

Progress on this project will be regularly reported to the Street Scene & Environment Advisory Board, and those reports can be found on the relevant page of T&MBC’s website