Decision details

Waste Collection and Street Cleansing - Future Provision

Decision Maker: Cabinet - Decommissioned 18.05.2022

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To approve the recommendations within the report with regards to remaining within the Mid Kent Waste Partnership; the preferred waste collection methodology; and the preferred service provision model.


The Cabinet Member for Environment introduced the report which aimed to set the direction of travel for the tendering of future waste and street cleansing services from October 2023 following a full review. The report provided the results of a consultation that went out to public and members on the waste collection and street cleansing services in the Borough. The Cabinet Member identified five key points in the report which included;


·      The survey shows that the current Mid-Kent Partnership waste collection service was meeting shared objectives and was working effectively;

·      the review approach had been based on the consultation from members and public and was supportive of the current contract approach;

·      it was recognised that there needed to be an improvement in street cleansing outcomes, as there was a particular problem in rural and residential areas and the new contract would look at shifting performance to improve in those areas;

·      intend on using a two-stage tendering service to test the market; and

·      being mindful of minimising future service costs whilst looking at new priorities.


A member pointed out that in the survey 40% of people had said that they did not have a food waste container supplied by Swale Borough Council (SBC) and asked the Cabinet Member for Environment what the plans were to make sure people had use of a food waste container. In response, the Cabinet Member for Environment explained that officers would be reviewing food waste bin uptake to find out what areas of the Borough were not using food waste containers or undertaking home composting. Officers pointed out to members that every household that was eligible for a food waste container has got one or been offered one, but work was ongoing to increase uptake by residents.


Members raised a concern about the amount of fly tipping in the Borough and wanted to know what officers were doing to help prevent fly tipping. In response, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure informed members that they would be working on the new contract to improve the amount of time it took to remove the fly tipping. Officers were taking a no tolerance approach to fly tipping and issuing fixed penalty notices to those responsible.


It was noted that the Government was currently undertaking a range of consultations on changes to the waste industry. Members and officers would need to be mindful of how these may impact on local delivery of service.


Other comments raised were:

·      Roads in the Borough were zoned and this determined cleanliness standards and response times for cleansing, the new contract would look at these zones and ways to improve cleaning;

·      needed to work with other authorities to get more electric vehicles (or other environmentally friendly vehicle options);

·      legislation required that by 2023 every household would had been offered food waste collection containers;

·      communications would be going out to residents on food waste collection services and encouraging people to use their food waste containers; and

·      officers are focusing on a sticker campaign to educate residents on recycling.


The Cabinet Member for Environment proposed the recommendations and which were seconded by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration.



(1)   To remain within the Mid Kent Waste Partnership.


(2)   To retain an Alternate Weekly Collection (AWC) for co-mingled kerbside recycling and residual waste. To collect food waste weekly and to provide separate chargeable garden waste and bulk waste collection services. This is based upon current assumed costings and the assumption that a material recycling facility (MRF) continues to operate within an affordable distance. It is also dependent upon potential national legislative changes.


(3)   To agree to keep the collections services contracted out as the preferred service delivery model and develop a waste collection specification to meet coalition priorities on clime emergency and recycling rates. 


(4)   To keep street cleansing contracted out but to adapt the future contract specification to improve flexibility of resource and improve service.

Publication date: 01/09/2022

Date of decision: 09/06/2021

Decided at meeting: 09/06/2021 - Cabinet - Decommissioned 18.05.2022

Accompanying Documents: