Campaign to fight the proposed closure of Richborough waste and recycling centre

Councillors from Thanet and Dover at the Richborough waste centre site

Campaigns have been launched to save Richborough Household Waste Recycling Centre from closure.

Dover councillors have teamed up with other councillors, including from Thanet, to object to proposals by Kent County Council that earmark the site for closure. They are joined by residents across Sandwich, Thanet and surrounding areas and backed by Thanet MPs Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale and Dover MP Natalie Elphicke.

A campaign group of residents is also running and has arranged a public meeting.

Kent County Council needs to save £55 million on its budget and has put forward proposals for waste site closures and/or reduction in hours across the county.

A consultation is expected to launch in July with three options for closures – but Richborough is earmarked to shut on all of the options.

The other site earmarked for closure under all options is Faversham.

At a meeting last month county councillors heavily criticised the  ‘lack of information’ into the plans and agreed to form a task group to produce a draft public consultation document.

District and town councillors met at the site yesterday (June 14) as plans to fight the closure are made.

Dover district councillor Daniel Friend said: “The gathering at Richborough HWRC represents the power of collaboration and community spirit. I am proud to see the overwhelming support of our residents, councillors, MPs, and community leaders who have joined forces to protect this vital facility.

“Together, we are sending a clear message: we stand united in our commitment to preserving Richborough for the benefit of all residents. Let’s continue working together to protect this valuable resource and ensure a sustainable future for our community.”

Thanet’s Cllr George Rusiecki was at the gathering. He said: “The tip is an important facility to both the people of Thanet and the Dover District council areas. It needs to be updated and run in a more business like manner to provide the correct and proper facilities that people require.

“To close it would put an enormous strain on the Margate site, and there’s no reason why both facilities shouldn’t be running and at least covering its costs and being an asset for our communities.”

A KCC, MP and Dover council surgery will take place at the Guildhall in Sandwich on June 21 at 6.30pm-8.30pm to discuss the waste centre plans. Find surgery details here

A separate meeting by the Save Richborough HWRC  group will take place at St Mary’s Art Centre, Strand Street, Sandwich, also on June 21 at 6.30pm.

The three options:

  • Option 1 closure of sites at Dartford, Richborough, Maidstone and Faversham
  • Option 2 closure of Faversham, Maidstone and Richborough and 10 sites not co-located with a transfer station to close for two days per week
  • Option 3 Closure of Dartford, Faversham and Richborough and 10 sites not co-located with a transfer station to close for two days per week.

Councillors at the meeting said they could not make a decision on the consultation due to the ‘paucity’ of information in the report and no draft consultation document being included.

Lib Dem leader Antony Hook addressed the KCC meeting last month to outline the shortfalls.


He said there was not enough financial detail and predicted savings should be broken down for each site. He questioned the predicted savings from paying business rates and workforce, pointing out that 50% of business rates would be received into the council budget and cutting workers would mean redundancy costs.

He raised the issue of capacity and whether remaining sites would cope with the extra footfall and he asked how pushing the burden of extra travel – both in cost and more pollution – on to residents could be justified.

Thanet councillor Derek Crowe-Brown said closing Richborough would cause “absolute chaos” and be disastrous” pointing out there were already safety issues for people accessing Margate waste centre and an expected population rise due to housing developments.

Reduced hours and closures also raised concerns of fly tipping problems being forced onto district and borough councils.

Read here: Councillors criticise ‘lack of information’ in report over waste and recycling centre closure proposals

KCC currently operates a network of 19 Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) spread across the county. The sites receive approximately 1.7m visits per year, with around 96,000 tonnes of material being managed through the network.

KCC says full site closures will mean no longer paying business rates, utility costs, contractor charges, reduced haulage charges and where appropriate, lease costs.

A petition launched to save the Richborough centre can be found here

The Save the Richborough Household Waste Recycling Centre group can be found here


  1. Has KCC taken into account its acceptance of an increasing amount housing in this part of East Kent?

  2. Has KCC calculated the costs of fly-tipping and general waste management burdens if they close the sites?

  3. The Tories love wasting money on so called art, so why not say it’s modern art, sorry domestic art then it will get millions in tax payers money but would be a greater attraction than the turd centre.

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