New £30,000 truck to tackle complaints about overflowing in West Kent

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

THE councils of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge will spend £30,000 between them to hire an extra truck to empty bottle banks over the next year.

The expenditure has become necessary because of the ‘growing unreliability’ of the two recycling vehicles they currently use.

The councils have already introduced more glass and tin collections at weekends and hired another truck from the contractor Veolia.

But it has not always been available for use, prompting the authorities to look for another solution as the bins regularly overflowed.

They also considered increasing the number of bottle banks at around 100 sites across the two boroughs but did not proceed with that strategy.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council has received ‘a growing number of complaints from residents, parish councils and members who quite rightly expect the recycling sites to be emptied to meet demand’.

Robert Styles, Director of Street Scene, Leisure and Technical Services, added: ‘It is worthy of note that demand for the sites continues to grow, reflecting the public’s growing commitment to recycling.

‘If temporary arrangements to service the recycling sites are not progressed, the level of service will continue to suffer.’

The lorries, which are owned jointly by the councils, were bought in 2008 and 2009, and were supposed to run for eight years – with provision made in the budget to replace them after that.

But in 2015 Tonbridge agreed that due to its poor financial position the trucks should be kept in operation until the end of the existing waste services contract next February.

A firm in East London, Lucy & Martin Recycling Company, will now collaborate with Veolia to carry out collections.

A spokesperson for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: ‘We have been experiencing issues with our bring-bank collection vehicles.

‘Due to this, we are putting a short-term contract in place to supplement the existing service.

‘The additional collections from the bring-banks will start at the beginning of September.’

PICTURE: CUP RUNNETH OVER: Recycling sites cannot cope with demand

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