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TMBC New Waste and Recycling Collection Service 2019

Rear of a refuse lorry

Here are some of the questions about the new service you might be asking. We will provide more questions and answers as and when more details have been finalised.

1. Why is the contract changing?

Tonbridge & Malling’s current contract with Veolia is due to end on 28 February 2019. A new contract is currently being tendered and will commence on 1st March 2019. The new contract is in partnership with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Whilst this will mean that services will be operated across the two boroughs, but each Council will still manage its own services and deal with its residents’ queries. The new contract will increase efficiency and improve services for local residents.

2. What services are included in the new contract?

The new contract includes:

  • Fortnightly mixed recycling collection
  • Separate weekly food waste collection (see further information)
  • Fortnightly collection of paper & cardboard
  • Fortnightly rubbish collection
  • Opt In fortnightly garden waste collection (see further information)
  • Collection of small electrical items, textiles & household batteries
  • Street Cleansing Services

When the new contract starts on 1st March 2019, services will initially remain the same as they are now, while preparation is made to launch the new recycling collection service.

The new service will be rolled out on a phased basis and is expected to be available to all residents by November 2019. We will keep you informed before any changes take place.

The key service changes are:

Improved recycling collections – you will be able to recycle glass bottles and jars, food and drinks cartons and most types of plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, along with cans and aluminium foil. This will all be collected from your Green Lidded Bin. Paper and cardboard will be collected from your Green box.

Garden Waste will be an opt-in chargeable collection service. When you subscribe to the service you will receive a new 240L wheeled bin which will be for garden waste only. You don’t have to subscribe to the service, you can take garden waste to your nearest household waste recycling centre or compost at home.

For information about home composting and how to purchase a reduced price compost bin please see

(Please see separate FAQ’s for further details on the garden waste service >>).

Food Waste will be collected separately every week from a 23L food waste bin.

This will be for all food waste – cooked and uncooked – including dairy, meat, fish & bones. We will also supply you with a 5L kitchen caddy to store the food waste in until you empty it into the 23L external bin.

(Please see separate FAQ’s for further details on the food waste collection service >>).

3. Will my collection day change?

When we roll out the improved services, collection days will change for many households. This will improve efficiency across the two boroughs, which will include cross boundary working. The new rounds will also be designed with the two depots and the various disposal points in mind to reduce vehicle movements and maximise the time spent collecting you’re recycling & rubbish.

4. How will residents find out about the changes?

A comprehensive communications campaign is planned to ensure all residents are aware of the service changes including:

  • Recycling Leaflet & New Recycling Calendar – you will receive a booklet with details of how to use the new services. Your collection day may change so please check the information carefully. This information will be posted to every household prior to the start of the new service in 2019.
  • Stickers on the lids of the bins will help you to understand what to put into them.
  • Garden waste calendar – residents who subscribe to the garden waste service will receive a separate garden waste calendar.
  • Advertising/Information – via media releases, social media channels and our website
  • Collection vehicles – the new refuse and recycling collection vehicles and some street cleansing vehicles will have signs publicising the changes.
  • Roadshows – we will be visiting various sites around the borough such as supermarkets and high streets. Briefings will also be held at Parish meetings, interest groups etc. Parish Councils will also be asked to help publicise information on their websites and Parish magazines.
  • Schools – visits will be offered to schools in the borough to inform children and staff of the changes

5. Will my usual collection staff change?

The existing collection staff will transfer to the new contractor on 1 st March 2019. However, the new collection services mean that your usual staff may be on different
rounds. This means that they may take a few weeks to learn the new rounds and where bins are left for collection, as well as coming at different times to your current collection time. Please make sure your bins are on the boundary of your property by 7am so they are visible from the road. You can also put your house name/number on them to help reduce missed collections and to make sure you get your bins back.

6. What can I put in my green lidded bin when the new collection
service starts?

  • Glass bottles and jars (no glass oven dishes, glass ornaments, mirrors etc.)
  • Plastic trays (such as meat/food trays, fruit punnets)
  • Plastic pots & tubs (such as yoghurt pots &margarine/ice cream tubs)
  • Plastic bottles (such as milk, juice and cleaning product and shampoo bottles)
  • Aerosols, cans & tins including sweet & biscuit tins
  • Kitchen foil and foil food trays
  • Cartons – juice/milk/soup etc.

Please make sure these are all empty. You don’t have to rinse them out but it does help keep your bin clean.

No plastic bags –thank you! Just put these items in loose.

7. What will go into my green box?

  • Paper (such as newspapers, leaflets, magazines, catalogues, envelopes, “junk” mail)
  • Card/Cardboard – (sleeves from food packaging, cereal boxes, pizza boxes, toilet roll/kitchen roll centres, greetings cards without glitter). Large cardboard boxes should be flattened and placed next to your box.

8. Will I fit all the card/cardboard in my green box?

Flatten any large boxes and put them beside the box on collection day. You can also use any cardboard boxes to store extra cardboard & paper if necessary. We will always supply an extra green box if you want one.

9. What will I put in my black rubbish bin when we will be able to
recycle so much?

  • Plastic film
  • Cellophane
  • Pet food pouches
  • Crisp packets
  • Plastic bags
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Pet bedding/litter
  • Bagged pet waste
  • Nappies/Sanitary items
  • Greetings cards with glitter
  • Broken plastic toys//plant pots etc.
  • Polystyrene packaging
  • Broken crockery/glass ornaments etc.

10. What can’t I put in my black rubbish bin?

  • Garden Waste
  • Food Waste
  • Soil, rubble, tiles bricks – basically no DIY waste
  • Large bulky items
  • Waste Electrical & Electronic items
  • Hazardous materials such as asbestos, car batteries, plasterboard etc.
  • Paint tins containing liquid paint – dried up & empty ones are fine

11. I live in a block of flats, will I be able to recycle more when the
new service is introduced?

You will receive recycling bins to recycle glass bottles and jars, cartons and other plastic packaging, tins, cans and aluminium foil. You will have a separate bin for paper and cardboard. We will look at introducing communal food waste collections where there is space to do so. All residents in each block of flats will be notified once
the new bins are in place.

12. I receive a “pull out” collection – will I still get this?

If you have previously registered for this service, you will still receive it. If you are having difficulty putting your bins on your boundary for collection and need assistance please contact the waste team (details below).

13. Is the Saturday service continuing?

The service will still be provided at the current locations. However, we will no longer accept garden waste on the Saturday Freighter once the new kerbside services have been introduced. Only those who subscribe to the garden waste service will have
their garden waste taken away. It wouldn’t be fair for some people to be able to have theirs taken away free of charge by using the Saturday Service, which is provided for bulky items only. All of the waste collected by the freighter has to be landfilled: it cannot go to the Energy from Waste plant due to its bulky nature.

14. Where is the rubbish / recycling / food waste taken?

Refuse from your black bin is taken to the Allington Energy from Waste plant, where it is burnt to generate electricity. The recycling from your green lidded bin will be sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where the different recyclables are separated and sent for re-processing into new products. Food Waste will be sent to Blaise Farm for composting. The composted food waste is then used on local farmers fields as a soil improver to help grow more crops.

15. How will textiles and small Waste Electronic or Electrical Equipment (WEEE) and Household batteries be collected?

We will provide more details once we have discussed this with the selected

16. Will the Council still be providing recycling ‘bring’ sites?

Yes, we will continue to maintain all our sites until the new collection service has been introduced across the borough. Inevitably, the usage of the sites will reduce when people can recycle more materials from home. However, we are aware that we need to retain some core sites in the Borough, for those people who live in flats or may have larger volumes of recycling at certain times of the year.

17. Why should I bother recycling if it all gets dumped in China

In the past there have been exports of poor quality material to China and other countries, however, in Kent we have always tried to make sure material is recovered and recycled as close to home as possible.

For example, in the period 2012/13 – 2016/17, 79% of household waste was processed in Kent, 14.1% other UK destinations and only 6.9% went abroad.

In Tonbridge & Malling, 86.1% of household waste was processed in Kent, 12.8% in other UK destinations and only 1.1% abroad (mostly textiles to Africa). China and other countries have stopped accepting poor quality recyclate, which in turn drives up the quality of the Materials Recycling Facilities in the UK, so good quality products can be offered on the open market.

With the recent emphasis on plastics, it is hoped that more legislation will lead to manufacturers using more recyclable plastics or other recyclable materials to package their products, reducing the amount of low grade or unrecyclable material.

You can help by making sure you don’t put any plastic film or bags into your recycling bin, and making sure the recycling is not contaminated with food or other items.

If you still have a question please contact us at:
(01732) 876147