Booking to visit a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) is to stay following a large response to the public consultation held last year.
Susan Carey, Kent County Council’s (KCC) Cabinet Member for Environment, took the decision to keep the booking system following a report to the Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee on 18 January, where members voted in favour of the recommendation to retain the system and to introduce ‘on the day’ bookings at all 18 HWRCs.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “This is the largest response to a public consultation by KCC that any of us can recall and, whilst a consultation is not a referendum, there was a clear margin in favour of those who felt positive about keeping the booking system.”
The main objection by those who felt negatively, or extremely negatively, was that the present booking system does not take ‘on the day’ bookings. Introducing ‘on the day’ bookings was also the service improvement that those in favour of keeping the system wanted to see introduced.
KCC has therefore been trialling ‘on the day’ bookings at the HWRCs at Folkestone, Maidstone and New Romney. These trials have worked well and ‘on the day’ bookings will now be extended to all 18 of Kent’s HWRCs and implemented in a phased approach during February and March this year.
Susan Carey added: “The booking system was introduced as an emergency measure to keep visitors and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been changed in response to customer feedback with slots now available at half-hourly intervals and no limit to the number of bookings that can be made on one day or up to a month in advance.
“As well as minimising the time spent queuing to access a site, the booking system has brought environmental, operational and communication benefits. I’m very pleased with the level of support it has received in the consultation.”
Notes to editors:
- The consultation on keeping the HWRC Booking system ran from 19 August to 30 September 2021 and received 10,705 responses.
- Of those respondents expressing a view, 5152 were positive about keeping the booking system whilst 4,778 were negative. 7,905 found the booking system easy to use.
- Bookings to visit a HWRC can be made online at https://www.kent.gov.uk/environment-waste-and-planning/rubbish-and-recycling/household-waste-recycling-centres/visiting-a-hwrc-during-coronavirus or by phone at 03000 41 73 73. (97% of bookings are currently made online.)
- Kent’s 18 HWRCs are open 7 days a week, except for Christmas and Boxing Day. The most recent performance data for the HWRCs shows that recycling rates at the HWRCs on a rolling 12-month average was 68% with what can’t be recycled or composted turned into energy and less than 0.5% sent to landfill.