Six-month transition planned for glass collections

More lorries and more collectors as Council loses patience with Urbaser
Changes are to be made to improve rubbish collections in Tonbridge

Urbaser, who take over the operation from March 30, will pick up roadside glass in the borough for the first time. But this fortnightly collection will not come into force until September.

An opt-in garden waste collection will also be introduced for an annual fee of £52, although a discounted rate will be available for individuals who sign up before August 2.

Council officers say the six month transition period is to allow for the logistics of the new arrangements to be finalised. This includes the provision of new trucks and bins, while giving residents an opportunity to sign up for the green waste option.

The ‘greatly improved’ recycling contract will also feature a weekly food waste service and kerbsides collection of textiles, small electrical items and batteries.

Gary Stevenson, Head of Housing, Health and Environment said: “The new waste contract is a joint initiative between this council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and will serve over 100,000 homes.

“Experience shows that introducing major changes at the start of a new contract to such a large number of residents can lead to operational problems.

“Therefore the contract includes a programmed period of time to provide an ‘as is’ service to enable all the changes to be properly managed.

“The new contractor, Urbaser, will have a few months to settle into the new contract prior to the new and improved service arrangements being introduced in September.

“This will allow new bespoke fleet vehicles to be ordered, Information Technology systems to be changed, new bins to be ordered, and give residents time to sign up for the opt-in garden waste scheme – just a few of the logistics involved in launching the new service.

He added: “We want to do everything possible to make the transition of services as smooth as possible for our residents, and we fully understand that residents would like to recycle more from home as soon as possible.

“Communication with residents will begin shortly with an introductory leaflet from Urbaser, which will be sent to every home in the borough during February.”

The new arrangement is set to last for eight years and also includes street cleaning in the two boroughs.

Neighbouring Tonbridge is one of only three local authorities in the country which do not yet offer plastic collections, a situation which will be remedied with the new contract. 

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