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Waste Collections up During Lockdown

Written by on 20 May 2020

The amount of domestic waste being collected across Swale has increased by almost ten percent compared to last year.

With more people staying at home during the day during lockdown, initial figures show that Swale collected 4,354 tonnes of domestic waste during April this year, compared to 3,976 tonnes in month in April last year.

Within this figure, general waste rose 9.4%, recycling was up 12.4% and food waste rose 77.5%. Garden waste – which was suspended for two weeks in April was down 20.9%.

Cllr Tim Valentine, cabinet member for the environment at the council, said:

“The increase in the amount of waste collected has been substantial. In practical terms this is seen with fuller bins requiring more journeys to empty the vehicles more frequently. This has a knock-on effect for collections scheduled later in the day.

“The increase in recycling is welcomed, and I hope this will continue. Despite there not being a service for two weeks in the month, garden waste tonnages only fell by 20 per cent. That means that 80 percent of the usual garden waste was collected for compost in the other couple of weeks – that’s a phenomenal amount!

“In particular we welcome the substantial increase in food waste being recycled. This is a great way to be more environmentally friendly. But we do need to try to reduce the amount of general waste we’re throwing away.

“Unfortunately, with the increase in the other waste streams and reduced staff levels, it meant the garden waste service hasn’t been as reliable as we would expect normally. This is why we will be giving subscribers affected by the service suspension in April a free month on top of their current package.

“Overall, given the extremely trying circumstances, the service has coped well with the pressures it has faced.

“People’s patience has been greatly appreciated, and I’d like to thank everyone for their continued understanding.”

For more information about waste collections visit