The need to book a slot to visit a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Kent is to remain following a 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 against the idea 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 been trialling ‘on the day’ bookings at the HWRCs at Folkestone, Maidstone and New Romney and this 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