Thanet council proposal to axe commercial waste service

Commercial waste service (image TDC)

Thanet council will axe its commercial waste service from May 31 if Cabinet members approve the proposal this week.

The service was launched in 2018 with the aim of providing local businesses with a fairly priced and flexible way to dispose of waste. The idea was to run the service using existing resources and generating income.

But it is currently being subsidised by waste and recycling resources and Thanet council says the national HGV driver shortage has had a significant impact.

This also resulted in a 2 week suspension of garden waste collection last year that affected some 12,500 residents and difficulties in carrying out missed collection recalls.

A report to Cabinet members says the service had an estimated gross turnover of around £300K but an expected pre-fuel/cost of living crisis expenditure of £260K, leaving the council with a potential profit margin of 15%.

But that margin does not take account of non payment which is running at around 22%, meaning the service is not breaking even.

More than 300 Thanet businesses use the service, provided by one 26 tonne vehicle crew with a HGV Driver and Loader.  However, challenges for the council and local businesses such as Covid and Brexit have led to TDC being owed in the region of £133k in overdue fees and the current forecast for this year would be a trading deficit of around £87k plus write off of around £100-£120k.

The report adds: “We would need to more than double our existing fees in order to cover the actual cost of service, this is clearly not in keeping with the original ethos of a low cost flexible service and so this report seeks to discuss and agree the removal of the commercial waste service from the 31 May 2023.

“By removing the service there is a risk that illegally disposed commercial waste in local public litter bins, fly tipping or Household Waste Recycling Centres could increase to similar levels that we saw previous to 2018. There will need to be a focus on this from our streetscene enforcement.”

Councillors are expected to agree to end the service  and provide two months notice to customers, charging the 2022/23 rate until the service is withdrawn..

Cabinet members will discuss the service at a meeting on Thursday (March 2).


  1. This isn’t a Hgv driver shortage. Just a Shortage of drivers that will work for crap wages you pay. Any company that pays well never has a shortage.

  2. It’s high time local councils stayed well away from “income generating” activities where their senior managers pretend they are some high flying private sector entrepreneurs.

    It’s a different mentality which the public sector simply don’t have.

  3. All the other companies seem to do well. Why is everything TDC do so complicated. ?? I suspect Thanet waste or BIFFA will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  4. Two internal TDC issues in that report the number of missed domestic collections and an inability to ensure invoices are collected from the businesses. Quite how much money has tdc not collected of late? We had the news regarding the commercial property department not so long back. What else? Too many instances of poor cost control / management , for which the idea seems to be just give up and make cuts elsewhere.

  5. 22% non payment!! Fix that. Don’t stop the service. Small claims court process surely. I can’t imagine the costs are that high. A project going off half cocked again. And the solution is the wrong one It will lead to an increase in fly tipping in all probability.

    • Indeed. That would equate to 66 out of 300 not paying at all – or a greater number only paying in part.

      £133,000 not collected – and TDC plans to write off up to £120,000 of that. More tax payers money down the drain.

      I wonder how many have not paid their business rates either . . .

  6. and the greedy local recycling centres will cash in on this as Bill rightly said, and no doubt there will be more fly tipping as well

  7. Have a driver shortage!!. Y don’t they pay there staff to take the test. They did this for the parks department staff to get there normal car licences. Now u see them parked up asleep in there vans.Money well spent

    • What a novel concept-amazed anybody doesn’t get at least 50% up front to cover most or all of their costs. Keep putting things on tick & it encourages most to abuse the system-especially in the current climate. Why was this not reviewed when Covid was in full swing?

  8. Dear TDC.

    Can I please pay for my garden waste collection at the end of the year instead of annually up front ?

    Didn’t think so.

  9. I am a small but happy customer of TDC’s waste collection service and very much hope they keep it going. The council’s calculation must include the cost of the potential increase in illegally disposed commercial waste. Council services that turn a modest profit while providing essential services required by regulation are a very good thing.

  10. Back to the future comes to mind. We have the most useless council. £67 for garden waste, £35 in Nottinghamshire for the same service. Nothing this council does is fit for purpose. Running a ferry service anytime soon? I n your dreams.

  11. When I asked TDC for a comercial bin service last year I was told they didn’t do that service so I signed a contract with Biffa instead. Perhaps that’s why they aren’t making enough money with this service!

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