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New recycling and waste vehicle fleet

New recycling and waste vehicle fleet proposed for waste partnership.

A new vehicle fleet for Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells councils’ recycling and waste partnership contractor (Urbaser) will mean a dedicated food waste collection service for residents and new opportunities in the future to reduce the carbon footprint of recycling and waste collections by using HVO fuels (renewable diesel) that lower emissions.

The replacement fleet is part of a number of proposals being considered which should improve the reliability and efficiency of the service. In late 2022 the councils made changes to the garden waste collection rounds which allowed for the creation of dedicated collections crews to be based at the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells depots and serve the respective council areas. The crews now have more familiarity with the area, improving service provision for residents. Building on these improvements the councils are now considering similar changes to the food, recycling and refuse collections.

The councils are expected to make a decision shortly on whether to support a request from Urbaser for a financial contribution towards the process of replacing the fleet with new vehicles. Changes to the rounds and the introduction of different types of vehicle will benefit the efficiency of the collection service.
Food waste separated from other collections

Replanning the rounds with food waste being collected separately, albeit on the same day as other collections, is expected to result in fewer missed collections and improved recycling rates.

Decision dates

The decision will see the councils each commit £150,000 towards the new fleet. TWBC's Cabinet will make the decision on 9 February when they consider the report which already has the support of the Communities and Economic Development Cabinet Advisory Board. TMBC’s Communities and Environment Scrutiny Select Committee will consider the report on 8 February and Cabinet will make a decision on 14 February.

Piers Montague, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Technical and Waste Services, said:
We’re determined to make our waste collection service both more reliable and more efficient. The changes being proposed will mean crews can focus on particular types of collection using modern, cleaner trucks and I’m confident residents we’ll see improvements as a result. If there are changes required to anyone’s collection day, we will ensure information is communicated to the those affected in good time.

Luke Everitt, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said:
The £150,000 is part of a one-off joint payment with our waste contract partners at TMBC. Both TMBC and TWBC are facilitating this investment in a new fleet of bin lorries to introduce new practices and efficiencies for our waste collection service. The new vehicles allow the opportunity to use HVO fuels that lower emissions and offer new opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of waste collection rounds.

New rounds planned in the most efficient way

If the proposals are agreed the councils will be working closely with Urbaser to ensure any new rounds are planned in the most efficient way and we will be letting residents know how any changes will affect them.

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