Changes to the waste service from April 2021
There will be some changes to the waste service from April 2021.
In 2010 the council received £66m in general funding support from the government. Since then this figure has fallen to £0. This means our central budget to provide essential services relies wholly on what we receive from council tax and business rates.
The council's financial position has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. With people spending more time at home, higher volumes of waste are being produced, leading to an increased cost of waste disposal. Therefore, we need to think differently about how waste services are delivered to residents from April 2021.
The below changes were agreed at the Culture, Housing, Environment and Planning Committee (CHEP) on Thursday, 11 February 2021.
Keep reading to find out what’s happening.
Visiting the Villiers Road HRRC
We are keeping the online booking system for the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC).
In May 2020, a temporary online booking system was introduced for the Villiers Road HRRC to manage high demand during the first national lockdown. This ensured that the site could operate safely while observing government social distancing guidelines and received positive feedback from residents.
Maintaining the booking system will continue to allow visits to be spread safely and evenly throughout the day, make the site easier to access, reduce queueing times for residents and associated local air pollution.
Friends and family are able to make online bookings on behalf of those without internet access and where this is not possible, bookings can be made via the Contact Centre (020 8547 5000).
Villiers Road HRRC Fair Access Policy
We are introducing a Fair Access Policy to the HRRC which will allow households to access the site up to 20 times a year.
The majority of the 13,000 visits to the HRRC each month are made by residents who are responsibly disposing of waste which cannot be collected as part of their regular household collections.
Unfortunately, some are taking advantage of the HRRC facilities by disposing of commercial waste or unreasonably large amounts of waste compared with other residents.
Limiting the amount of visits to 20 a year will help ensure that council tax payers are not footing the bill for those who are disposing of commercial waste illegally, or those who are disposing of excessive amounts of waste on a regular basis.
However, if residents need to visit the site multiple times, for example when moving house, they will be able to complete an exemption form.
Only 3% of visitors to the HRRC visit more than 20 times per year, and a number of other councils already have similar restrictions in place.
It is important to recognise that not everyone owns or wants to use a car when visiting the HRRC. A period of slots will be reserved for pedestrians and cyclists each week, during which time no vehicles will be able to access the site to ensure their safety.
Administrative fee for waste & recycling containers
We are introducing an administrative fee for new and replacement waste & recycling containers.
Each year, around 18,000 new or replacement containers are delivered to households in Kingston at a cost of roughly £400,000 to council tax payers.
The council has continued to provide waste and recycling containers without charge for as long as possible, but this is no longer sustainable given the economic pressures that the council is facing.
A fee of £15 will help offset administrative and delivery costs associated with providing containers, ensure that requests are only made by those that truly need them and allow more council tax to be spent on essential services.
Food waste caddies will be exempt from this fee and any containers damaged by the waste crews during collection will be replaced free of charge.
We believe the changes are the fairest way of ensuring your council tax is available for other essential services.