Around 90% of Kent’s household waste was reprocessed in the UK in 2014/15 the Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) has claimed in its fourth ‘End Destinations’ report.
The KRP is a partnership comprising all 13 councils in Kent, set up to align work on waste and recycling in the county. The Partnership includes Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Folkestone, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Kent councils.
According to the report published this week, the total tonnage collected by the 13 Kent councils was just over 711,000 tonnes.
Findings from the report suggest that around 10% – 72,130 tonnes – of Kent’s discarded household waste was sent abroad by waste companies, with the majority being reprocessed within Europe, but some also exported to China.
The publication also highlights that the Partnership surpassed its own recycling and composting target of 45% — a year ahead of schedule.
The report reveals that ninety UK registered companies were used, with the top 10 handling 85% of Kent’s material.
Kent Enviropower (EfW) – a subsidiary of FCC Environment, which runs the waste transfer and energy from waste facility at Allington Quarry near Maidstone – handled the largest proportion of waste, 300,591 tonnes overall, which equates to around 42%.
Other companies included Countrystyle Recycling, handling glass, plastic, food, garden and wood waste; Viridor, which handled cans and paper; New Earth Solutions, which handled garden and food waste; J Taylor & Son, which processed garden waste; UPM Kymmene – paper; and Veolia which handled cans, plastic and glass.
In terms of resource destinations, just over 45% of the collected waste was recycled or composted, while around 43% was used for EfW and 11% went to landfill. This, the publication notes, places the KRP in a good position to reach its collective objective of sending no more than 10% of Kent’s discarded materials to landfill by 2015/16.
The report adds the KRP has achieved the biggest single-year reduction since the production of their End Destinations reports since 2011/12; a significant cut of 7 percentage points.
‘Lead the way’
Cllr Rory Love, KRP chairman, said: “2014/15 is the fourth year for which this Partnership of all of Kent’s Councils has compiled data on the end destinations of household recycling and waste.
“Our motivation is that openness and transparency with our residents is the surest way to gain and retain their confidence in our high-achieving, recycling and waste resource services across Kent.”
Ray Georgeson, chief executive at the Resource Association – which has championed the clarity on the destinations of recyclable materials by councils – said: “The KRP continues to lead the way with its transparent approach in informing residents on what happens to their resources as well as where it eventually end up.
“We applaud KRP’s efforts and continued support with this particular agenda and encourage other local authorities and businesses to adopt a similar approach through the Charter.”