Thanet councillors agree to axe commercial waste service

Commercial waste service (image TDC)

Thanet council will axe its commercial waste service from May 31.

Cabinet members from the authority agreed to cease the service at a meeting last 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 it using existing resources and generating income.

But it is losing money and currently being subsidised by other waste and recycling resources.

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, TDC is 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.

Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Cllr Bob Bayford said the service had been under review for several months and it was “absolutely the right decision” to end it when “you look at the figures.”

Broadstairs councillor Ruth Bailey questioned how an ‘overstretched’ enforcement service would be able to deal with predicted rises in fly tipping resulting from the service shutdown.

The meeting was told council officers had already started with the enforcement team to “be more reactive,” adding: “Plans are in place to mitigate the impact,” and said changed were being brough t in for the ways fly tipping is dealt with.”

Cllr Steve Albon requested looking at whether the service could be continued for community centres and charities but was told this was not feasible.

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agreed to end the service  and provide two months notice to customers, charging the 2022/23 rate until the service is withdrawn.

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