Council’s £275k bill to remove 2,180 tonnes waste pile from Dane Park depot

Dane Park depot (Image google)

The amount of waste being taken to Thanet council’s Dane Park depot has been so huge that a 2,180 tonne pile had to be removed by a contractor in November and December at a cost of £275,000.

The waste is from maintenance of open spaces across the district which is brought to the depot at the end of each day.

A report to councillors says: “The amount of waste being brought to the depot was greater than the capacity available in the system that was in place for the disposal of waste. At the time of (a) visit in September the council was storing 2,180 tonnes of waste at the depot. The depot has a T23 waste exemption certificate (which) means a maximum of 60 tonnes can be stored on site at any one time and the waste stored must be suitable for composting.”

Exceeding the 60 tonne limit of the licence meant the council was at risk of sanctions being imposed by the Environment Agency (EA) which could include substantial fines and custodial sentences for non-compliant waste activities.

The waste pile was discovered when the council’s Head of Coastal and Public Realm, appointed early September, visited the depot to check the location for installing electric charging points.

In November Mears Group Plc provided an estimate of £225,000 to remove the waste mountain, which had built up over several years. The fee amount was able to be approved by officers.

However, the final cost came in at £275,000, meaning Cabinet members now need to issue retrospective approval.

Removal of the waste included 109 journeys by 20 tonne lorry:

All waste has now been disposed. Officers have put in place measures to avoid breaching the waste limit in future.

Actions include

  • Fencing off the land where the waste was removed.
  • Ensuring no further waste is deposited in the fenced off area.
  • Ensuring waste is stored only in the authorised location within Dane Park Depot.
  • Ensuring waste on site does not exceed 60 tonnes at any one time by requesting disposal of the waste once it reaches the maximum capacity in the authorised location.

A report to Cabinet members also says there is an issue with the current wood chipping machine, which is 20 years old, as the engine/injectors keep breaking down. This prevents the tree team from reducing and managing their waste.

The Head of Coastal and Public Realm is undertaking a capital bid for a new larger wood chipper with a wider load capacity at a cost of around £50,000.

Cabinet members will discuss the report at a meeting on January 25.


        • There aren’t any. They were all dispensed with when the local rags were bought up by KM Media, turned into a one person job in an office in Medway & made about a third of the size, for two to three times the price.

          • I was being sarcastic. I’m quite aware that there’s none here now (they do their best on online sites, but don’t want to upset advertisers whose revenue they rely on).

    • It’s the waste dumped by locals and tourists to Thanet thats the problem.

      One removal.of waste on Ramsgate Port was removed after the Travellers claimed others were coming into the Port and dumping it.

      The council have the CCTV and know it wasn’t the Travellers who had been.on the Port forsometime.

      Your obviously biased question seems to be an attempt to distract from the issue of the stored rubbish at the tip.

  1. Why allow it to get to that Will TDC ,he fined for it. Will the mangers have to pay any fine out of their own pockets ,nope

  2. Absolute incompetence.

    Wasting money that can be used for other things. No wonder some work is getting cancelled as this lot handle money worse than the NHS!

  3. So is the Dane Park Depot registered as a waste transfer site.
    Like it should be by law. If not the last Tory council were breaking the law…they have history at doing that.

  4. Quite who within was meant to be overseeing this? How on earth can there be 35 times the amount of waste stored than there should be without it being noticed? A new wood chipper is only going to reduce the volume not the weight so hardly makes much difference to the underlying issue.
    Given the costs involved, how many other estimates were obtained? If this was put out to tender, were tenders sought on the basis of both estimates and fixed price?
    Given the comment about the chipper, was a chipper hired in to reduce the volume of waste and so reduce the volume to be removed?
    Some very convenient nice round numbers and a 20% plus ,cost over the estimate.
    Hardly seems on the face of it that a great deal of effort was made to minimise costs to remove , non toxic , natural biodegradable waste.
    How many more such skeletons in the cupboard.
    And why Mears? Are they a waste disposal company?

  5. Would have probably been cheaper to drop it off at the KCC tip on Margate at the end of each day, just a thought 🤷🏼‍♂️

  6. Who at TDC thought a 60ton licence was going to be anywhere near big enough for green waste ? Absolutely ridiculous.

  7. £13,080 for 109 journeys = £120 per journey. Where were they taking it to?
    ££234,580 tipper lorries for 109 journeys = £2,150 per journey. What does this cost include – just hire of vehicles for one day?

    I assume these must be net costs from provider if Mears added £20,000 fee. In which case I hope original invoices were provided to prove that.

    • Chances are the easy option of taking it to landfill was taken , being biodegradable the waste would have been liable for a landfill tax at £102.10 a tonne. So the landfill tax per load would be £2042 , of course if they were able to find an alternative place to dispose of the waste, there’s a big chunk of cash going spare.
      Of course it may have been disposed of in the same manner as the councils garden waste collections and the garden waste collected at the council tip, which you’d hope goes to a composting facility, no idea what the costs of taking waste there would be or it it would be able to cope with a sudden 2000 tonne influx.
      More detail would be of interest

    • In addition a tipper truck is not a cheap vehicle to run , so it’s unlikely the waste was dumped far away, probably no further than canterbury at best. Again TDC mist have sertificates /documentation to show how/where the waste was disposed , an foi request would reveal a lot more.
      And would cost you nothing more than a little time completing the online form.

  8. Utterly fleeced. Saw TDC coming, it’s one thing to make a profit completely another to get rich from one job, sounds like something you see on dodgy tradesmen, will this cost escalate still further or have they allowed for the buggery value in the over the top valuation. Will any significant money be returned if this is conducted quicker with less resources. Come on do your due diligence, more over which Cllrs or MPs have an interest in the company conducting the clearance?

    • Fleeced or not the serious question is how did this department allow this to happen ?

      Will TDC be fined by the environment agency ?

      It’s not a small oversight is it !

      It’s just beggars belief what goes on at TDC. As someone who has worked in a similar role in the private sector we had to make sure everything was carried out correctly. How can a council ignore the rules and also underestimate they green waste by so much. I find it hard to believe this has suddenly jump in the last 12 months.

      • Most likely it’ll have been purely a case of “that’s what we’ve always done” , the waste having built up over a number of years, during those years someone will have forgotten about disposing of the waste and it was noone else’s responsibility.
        With the departure of the old management , these failures and lazy ways are being discovered and shaken out. The ineptitude in the commercial property department being another example.
        There are likely lots of similar examples that have been costing the council a fortune as things are put right, we’ll only get to know about the big ticket items.
        Similarly EKH fell apart when the then leader retired , who’d transferred to the post from TDC when EKH was formed, can’t be said there was a link but seems odd.
        Staff morale at EKH was almost non existent ,just as it was at TDC under the old management, a situation that hardly encourages people to perform well.
        Hopefully the departmental reviews under the new management will discover all the issues and set them right, given the current leader is a temporary post , cages can be rattled in the knowledge that once the dirty work is done there is no need to not ruffle feathers and TDC can be put on a decent footing for an incoming more permanent Chief Exec , the post will also hopefully attract a greater number of good applicants if it can be seen that TDC is no longer such a poison chalice it was.
        Well we can hope.

  9. Utter negligence.
    Breached the limit?! They smashed it!
    HOW can NOBODY have noticed?! Surely even a humble worker, no management needed, could tell a site geared up for such a smaller amount was completely overrun?!
    Is everybody on TDC staff walking round with their eyes closed?! Makes it easier to miss the passing of brown envelopes to mates in eg waste disposal I suppose.
    Disgusting negligence at a time when we’re being told Margate can’t have proper toilets, our streets can’t be cleaned…how many street cleaners’ wages could almost £300K pay for?
    Where’s the shame though? The contrition…the apology?
    What else have TDC left to literally rot? Theatres, shelters, and who’s going to force improvement upon the negligent, couldn’t care less staff and elected members of TDC?

  10. This is poor governance, poor decisions by officials at the council as a whole poor management, leading to yet more poor decisions.

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