Published: 11:50, 10 February 2020
| Updated: 08:15, 12 February 2020
The amount of household waste being recycled passed the 50% mark for the first time, despite bin collection problems which saw some rubbish left outside for weeks.
The borough council's £4.1million contract with Urbaser saw a new system start in September which allowed for food waste, textiles, batteries and small electrical items to be picked up kerbside.
A report presented to the local authority's street scene and environment services (SSES) advisory board revealed, despite the issues, the amount of recycled waste rose from 42% to around 55%.
More than 45% of residents signed up to the new garden waste service - the highest level in Kent.
The two services have boosted the amount of material being recycled by nearly a thousand tonnes a month.
Cllr Robin Betts, the council’s cabinet member for SSES, said: “I would like to thank residents for their enthusiastic response which is helping ensure more of our waste is recycled and also to apologise to anyone who had problems with collections as the new arrangements were implemented.
"Thank you for your support and patience during these times. We are confident that these issues have now been addressed and look forward to building on these very positive figures in the months ahead.”
The council implemented an action plan to tackle the bin delays after it threatened to fine the bin collectors.
At the start of the year, CCTV footage caught binmen putting the contents of the green-topped bins, containing glass, cans and recyclable plastic and the smaller green box for cardboard into the same section of a bin lorry.