Consultation opens on whether to keep waste centre booking system in place

Margate recycling centre

Residents are being asked for their views on the future of the booking system for Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

Introduced as an emergency measure for social distancing during the pandemic, the booking system has evolved in response to customer feedback and the easing of restrictions.

Now a consultation has been launched to ask for views on whether its use should continue.

Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey, said: “The booking system has been one of the ways we have been able to keep visitors and staff safe at our HWRCs.

“We know, from people surveyed, that it has proved popular with the majority who have taken part in our questionnaires, but we want to hear from those who may not have shared their thoughts with us before.

“We are therefore canvassing wider views on the booking system and I would like to encourage as many people as possible, no matter the type of experience they have had, to take part in the consultation.”

Kent’s 18 HWRCs have been back at full capacity since July 19 with slots available every half hour through the council’s website.

Customers without internet access or an email address can call KCC’s contact centre.

There is no limit to the number of visits that can be made and bookings can be amended or cancelled

Bookings can currently be made for the next day and up to a month in advance

In a normal year, 140,000 tonnes of waste are taken to the HWRCs for disposal in 3.3 million visits

What cannot be recycled is turned into energy and less than 1% is sent to landfill

KCC’s website also has advice for residents on how to reduce or reuse waste as part of the Kent Green Action campaign.

The consultation opens today (August 19) and residents have until  September 30 to give their views by completing the consultation questionnaire at

For queries or requests for hard copies, email [email protected] or call 03000 41 73 73 using the reference HWRC Consultation.


  1. It’s better in many ways it stops the the free for all rush. In some areas they have a bring and take areas where people bring something the don’t want and others take it.

  2. Like the current system but with the change that pensioners should only be able to book on weekdays and leave weekend slots free for those people who work all week.

  3. Why can’t they operate a flexible system that allows customers to either book in advance or turn up and take the next free slot? Pre-booked customers would have priority, of course.

    If the council wants to make it difficult for people in emergencies or with limited free time, then it must take full responsibility for any fly tipping and health and safety issues that arise.

    • Because the road in to most tips is single file so when you turn up and have’t booked what happens when you get to the front of the queue and there are no slots free and you are then blocking people that are booked and have to drive through the tip to let others in.

      Also never heard of people having to make an emergency trip to the tip, and if you have limited free time then booking a slot is better.

      For what it’s worth I think the booking system is much better and should stay

      • To be honest, it makes no difference to me whether there is a booking system or not because I’m a cyclist and I’m prevented from using this service that I pay for via my council tax. But that doesn’t stop me from having empathy for people needing to declutter and make their homes and pathways safer at short notice.

        Not everyone has storage space for keeping old mattresses, DIY debris, soiled items, etc for weeks on end. So if they can’t find a mutually convenient time slot then they are forced to create trip hazards, health hazards and eyesores in their homes or on the pavements.

  4. Definitely should stay. The operation is so much smoother. When a bin needs emptying you don’t end up with a queue of traffic waiting to get in. The staff have more time to deal with queries. If you could book on the day that would be great but generally most people can keep rubbish for a day at home it’s not life threatening.

  5. We love the current system and possiblity of booking next day currently. Not soo crowded as before and staff seem happy to help.

  6. Tbh i have usedthe richborough recycle site before covid and during covid via booking a slot.

    The site has always been clean with no broken glass, puke spewed pavements, fecal matter via animals&humans, overflowing bins spewing out their contents and more.

    Great work by the richborough site employees, if only tdc could keep the rest of their council areas that clean.

    Tdc, its possible to do better

  7. Charging for non household waste has led to increased fly tipping. Kent county council have remove the charge despite the evidence

    • County Councillor Lewis. I know your views on charging but what about the question in hand? What is your view on the booking system should it remain?

  8. 100% it should stay. Far better. No queues for miles. Much safer when on site.

    Fly tipping is just an excuse… people need to stop being lazy and breaking the law. We need to stop pandering to the sort of people that can’t plan and book.

    • Why demonise people with tight, reactive, unpredictable schedules? Spare a thought for carers, on-call workers, people on zero hours contracts, RNLI volunteers, etc. It’s never going to be easy for them to plan a slot, but surely that doesn’t mean they’re lazy.

        • What sort of life are you recommending? A busy one, where it’s almost impossible to comply with inflexible KCC rules? Or an empty life that allows me to plan chores and emergencies four months in advance?

  9. The new system works well for people like me who work fixed office hours and have weekends off. It allows me to plan my week and ensure I’m not left waiting for an hour at the tip. From that perspective, great! But, I appreciate that those with less structured schedules may struggle with the booking system.

    I agree with one of the other commentators on here, though. Pensioners should only be able to book Monday to Friday, leaving the weekend slots for those who cannot go on weekdays due to being at work.

    • Yes, I absolutely would like them not to shop at weekends. They have all week to clog the aisles of Tesco, walking at 1mph and leaving their trolley in the most selfish places possible. The rest of us have the weekend.

      • Hadeleine
        A large number of us ‘pensioners’ work very hard Monday to Friday providing free childcare so that the younger generation can work. I’m sorry that you find our dump visits and supermarket shopping such an inconvenience to you. Perhaps you would like us euthanised once we stop moving about as quickly as you must do. It must be sad to feel as bitter as you do about the generation that nurtured you.

        • AJ, the younger generation have to work as long and hard as they do, leaving the care of their children to grandparents because the grandparents milked the proverbials off the system, did nicely out of the property market, being in Europe and then pulled the ladder up by voting for Brexit, effectively snuffing out any chance of quality of life for their children and grandchildren, so pipe down. As for your comment about euthanasia? It isn’t a bad idea…

      • You will be old one day and perhaps not able to drive, many like my self can only go shopping when a relative or friend gives them a lift sometimes when they are off at week ends where is your compassion.

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