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to agree to end the service and provide two months notice to customers, charging the 2022/23 rate until the service is withdrawn..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