A consultation has been launched on plans to charge for non-household waste at the Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC), including those at Margate and Richborough.
KCC operates 18 HWRCs, providing facilities for the recycling and disposal of more than 30 different types of waste but is not obligated to accept non-household waste at its sites, such as soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard.
Each year Kent’s sites receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £10 million to the taxpayer.
KCC already charges for car and motorbike tyres which are also categorised as non-household waste. It now proposes charges of £4 per bag for soil, rubble and hardcore and £6 per bag of Plasterboard.
KCC cabinet member for waste Mike Whiting said: “We’re proud to have made significant progress in our environmental performance over the last 10 years.
“More than 99% of Kent’s household waste is recycled or recovered to produce energy, with less than 1% sent to landfill.
“However, we need to reduce our annual waste and recycling budget further, while providing residents with an accessible HWRC service.
“At a time when other local authorities are closing their sites down, reducing opening hours or not accepting certain waste, KCC is looking at ways to make the system more efficient to allow it to continue to offer the best possible service.
“KCC has no statutory requirement to accept non-household waste, however, we appreciate from time to time residents may need to dispose of these materials.
“KCC would like to continue to offer a service and proposes a modest charge to off-set the cost. Before any decisions are made, we would like to hear your views”.
KCC says pressure on the recycling centres include people who come from outside of Kent to dispose of their waste for free.
Councils such as Surrey and Bromley have already implemented similar charges. East Sussex County Council has also recently taken the decision to charge for non-household waste and to close several of its HWRCs close to the Kent border from late 2018.
The consultation launched today (September 6) and runs until November 1.
You can complete the online questionnaire at www.kent.gov.uk/wasteconsultation