The latest official Government figures for waste and recycling in England show just 1.5% of Kent’s rubbish goes to landfill.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report of waste and recycling statistics for 2019/20 found KCC disposed of 670,000 tonnes of household waste.
Of that, 315,000 tonnes of waste was recycled and 345,000 tonnes was used to produce energy.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “Our use of landfill remains one of the very lowest in England at 1.5%, the national average being at 8.5%.
“Certain items must by law be deep buried so we always dispose of asbestos in landfill. Corpses of large marine mammals such as dolphins, seals and whales must also be buried but we work hard to ensure that everything else is recycled or turned into energy.
“I’d like to congratulate Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council. The DEFRA figures show that their residents had the highest improvement in kerbside recycling performance in the country. Well done as well to residents in Tunbridge Wells Borough who increased their recycling to just over 50%.
“Both authorities have worked closely with KCC through the introduction of a partnership agreement designed to maximise the levels of recycling. We now have partnership agreements in place with 10 of the 12 district and borough authorities in Kent.”
The report also noted that KCC’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres have seen 61.4% of waste received being recycled with most of the balance being turned into energy.
KCC currently has 18 HWRCs, providing facilities for the recycling and disposal of more than 30 different types of waste. A new site is due to open in Allington after receiving approval last year.
Each year Kent’s household waste sites receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £8 million to the taxpayer.
KCC also spends £67 million on dealing with the kerbside waste collected by the districts/boroughs as well as specialist services such as medical waste collections and street sweepings.
Susan added: “It is our goal to create a circular economy so that waste from Kent is processed here in Kent.
“We recently announced that all 45,000 tonnes of food waste collected annually from Kent households will be turned into biogas at a new anaerobic digester at Blaise Farm Quarry near Kings Hill and that 15,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard a year will be recycled through DS Smith’s Paper Mill in Kemsley.”
All 18 of Kent’s HWRCs are open seven days a week and can be booked online up to a month in advance.
The booking system ensures that the sites can be operated with social distancing protecting both visitors and staff.
Visitors have the security of a reservation and there are no long queues of traffic disrupting local roads. There are now no limits on the number of visits that can be made to the HWRCs.