Published: 22:29, 24 May 2019
| Updated: 22:34, 24 May 2019
A new waste recycling centre will open in Allington within the next 15 months.
That was the promise from KCC leader Cllr Paul Carter.
The new "tip" will provide an alternative to many residents in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling who currently take their rubbish to the recycling centre in Cuxton, that is actually run by the Medway Unitary Authority.
The announcement is the second piece of good news about rubbish this week.
KCC said it had also resolved its dispute with Medway Council that had seen the unitary authority threatening to ban all Kent residents from its three tips, because it feared an increase in visits after KCC introduced charges for dumping certain types of "non-domestic" waste.
Kent currently has 18 household waste recycling centres, but none of them are in Tonbridge and Malling.
Cllr Carter said: “I am also pleased to report that negotiations with Medway Council have been satisfactorily concluded so that the reciprocal arrangements enabling Kent residents on the border of Medway being able to use their recycling centre, and similarly Medway residents accessing Kent’s facilities, will continue unchanged.
“In addition, we will be providing an additional £250,000 to crack down on fly-tipping, an anti-social crime often carried out by criminal gangs.
"More than 90% of fly-tipped waste we see in the county could have been disposed of free of charge at a hosuehold waster recycling centre or from a kerbside collection."
Cllr Carter did not mention that the agreement with the Medway authority only lasts for 18 months nor that Medway still plans to ask all its centre users from proof of address, so that it can monitor how many people from Kent are using the Medway tips.
Nevertheless, news of the new tip has been welcomed in Tovil, where there have been complaints for many years of the road congestion caused by people queuing to enter the recycling centre there at busy periods.
Cllr Brian Clark, (Lib Dem) whose South ward includes Tovil said: "We have been campaigning for more than a decade for an additional waste recycling centre in the North West of Maidstone to reduce the chronic pressure on the road network in South Maidstone.
"The existing site at Tovil is beyond capacity and serves as the only facility in the whole of the borough for residents as far as Lenham, Allington, Yalding and Staplehurst.
Cllr Clark said: “With increasing housing numbers mandated by central government, there has been a dramatic increase in the associated need for waste facilities. With a small single facility surrounded by narrow lanes, Tovil residents have suffered from increasing levels of cross-town traffic, queues at the centre and the knock-on delays to bus services along Burial Ground Lane. We are delighted that our request for a new site has been given the green light.”
Each year Kent’s household waste sites receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £10 million to the taxpayer.