Biffa Municipal has been chosen as preferred contractor for a joint waste contract to save Kent councils millions of pounds.
Swale Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council have approved a joint contract for waste and street cleaning which will include the introduction of a new weekly food waste collection.
In Ashford the new service will expand the current blue box service to include plastics, cardboard and Tetra Pak. The council said the new ten-year contract could save the council half a million pounds per year.
There will be a phased roll-out when existing waste contracts come to an end, with Ashford implementing the contract from April 2013, Maidstone from August 2013 and Swale from December 2013.
The council said that the new arrangements would improve the quality of waste collection services, provide higher levels of recycling and composting for residents across all three boroughs as well as bring greater efficiencies for each authority.
Councillor David Simmons, Swale cabinet member for the environment and rural affairs, said: “The emptying of bins is an important service provided to every household in the Borough. The contents of the bins must no longer be regarded as rubbish but instead as a valuable resource.
“As a farmer, I have long been worried about the amount of food which is thrown away, but with the new service unwanted food will be collected, composted and returned to the land as an important soil conditioner. This will play an important role in enhancing Swale Borough Council’s green credentials and further reduce the volume of material sent to land fill.
“Under the new arrangements more items, including glass, can be placed in the blue dry recycling bin without using the insert, and a new weekly food waste collection will be introduced. Separate arrangements will be made for those properties not able to use wheeled bins. In the next few months the Council will be carrying out an awareness and communication programme with residents so that they can take maximum advantage of the exciting new opportunities for recycling.”