Recycling centre booking system in Kent will stay in place

Margate recycling centre

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


  1. So by keeping this is in place people will carry on dumping rubbish is the streets and in alleyways and thanet have a lot of alleyways

  2. I disagree, people who fly tip do so because they have no social conscience. Time slots at the tip are not the reason.

  3. I not agree fully the booking system sounds good but i am unsure of what junk i will have on the day or how long it will take to load my car, i may have another few bits can chuck in so maybe a a two hour slot that one does not have to book might be a good idea.

  4. Is there a phone number to book on or is it only possible online? as a lot of older people do not have the skills or access to websites.

    • Totally agree, the revised system works well and with on the day bookings will be even better. Fly tipping was rife and increasing before the booking system was introduced,and those responsible will not use the recycling centre’s whether there is a booking system or not. Fortunately common sense has prevailed on this occasion rather than the views of a deluded minority including the MP for Thanet South. Well done KCC.

  5. The introduction of on-the-day bookings is a victory for common sense, but this facility is still an exclusive club. Pedestrians and cyclists cannot get access to this site and they can’t even leave their donations at the entrance. And even the car owners get a restricted service because there are no facilities for recycling plastics.

  6. Great system , pleased it’s being kept and now , on the day bookings too , it’s far easier and no queuing !

  7. I’ve lived in a fair few places and the recycling centre on Manston Rd is the best I’ve ever used. Ian Shacklock makes a really good point though, there does need to be a service for those who don’t have cars. Does KCC collect? Arranging collection plus the cost can be a disincentive where that system is in place.

    Time was that ‘litter’ was a mild annoyance, describing an area as a rubbish tip was usually an exaggeration and discussing it all was a sign that you had a bit of time on your hands. Unfortunately this issue has got a whole lot more pressing.

  8. I agree with the comments about the Manston Rd site. Staff are helpful, it is well run and I find booking easy and much better than sitting in a long line waiting to get in as often happened before the booking system. Surely more environmentally friendly as well, no long line of cars with engines running waiting to enter. I doubt whether this system has had any affect on those who fly tip, they obviously have no social conscience. I am pleased to see common sense prevailing.

  9. What about saving money on the groups of bored workers who now stand around keeping clear of struggling elderly tip users to avoid COVID. If they aren’t needed get rid of them.

    The only people who have gained by this scheme are the KCC empire building administrators.

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