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agreed to end the service  and provide two months notice to customers, charging the 2022/23 rate until the service is withdrawn.

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  1. Looks like TDC also are stopping emptying dog poo bins too ,as they have started removing dog bins across Thanet ,

  2. Well done TDC ruling group – firmly establishes Thanet as the flytipping capital of Southern England. Spending more money on enforcement is idiotic when we could take this waste away and dispose of it. Failure to collect fees is a further disaster. What a fiasco!

  3. I appreciate that the Main Sands brings in the punters over summer. But still can’t contain my resentment when I see that area being manicured while just a few streets away the rubbish piles up year on year. I’m not even all that fussy – barely notice a bit of litter – but Thanet truly is depressingly rubbish-strewn. And will now get even worse?!

  4. So the minority that dont pay ( all be it 22% of them ) stop the honest business from not have the service.

    Why are the non payment business taken to the small claim court ?

  5. I agree the issue with the business waste service is the non collection of fees. The solutions could include looking to expand the service, selling the debt, selling the service / business. Stopping the service is rather shortsighted and lacks imagination.

    • Far too many in the council just don’t care about cost controls and efficiency, they work for an organisation that is funded by the taxpayer so why should they. Amongst that 22% there will be contracts that were cancelled, those that should never have been taken on, non payment going back months and beyond a few letters chasing payment little effort to collect.
      You’ve only to look at the mess the commercial property department has got into, the garden waste scheme, the inefficiency of the fly tipping reporting page on website ( unlikely anything will happen until you actually phone in ) , the contracts entered into under east kent housing and the mess some of those turned into overpayments and payments for work not done, but no system of verifying what had or had’nt been done, same to a lesser extent with work done by Mears. Then the rumours circulation around the contract for street light repairs/ cleaning ( another 300k wasted). Many of the staff work from home so no very little managerial oversight and as we’re seeing productivity is poor. Given the offices are still there , surely time everyone was back in them and some proper work was being done.

  6. Why can’t the council collect the money in advance like they do for the green bin collection.

  7. Seems like there was a demand which will be picked up by the private sector, no reason why fly tipping should increase. Just shows that TDC aren’t a commercial organisation, the level of debt allowed to build up was too high. WFH, poor senior management , lack of credit control all had they part to play.

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