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'Worst council' switches to Biffa to boost recycling

The local authority said to be England’s worst recycling council has launched a new waste collection service with Biffa to improve its waste management performance.

Ashford Borough Council, as part of its membership of the Mid-Kent Joint Waste Partnership, has signed a £86m joint contract to improve waste collection efficiency. Ashford, Maidstone and Swale Borough Councils hope to save more than £2.6m over the next ten years.

Under the new arrangement, Biffa will provide alternate week collections of residual waste and commingled dry recyclables in wheeled bins, the weekly collection of food waste in kitchen caddies, and an optional subscription-based garden waste collection service.

With a current recycling, reuse and composting rate of 14%, Ashford has occupied the bottom position in the national recycling charts for the last three years. The council expects to reach a 50% recycling and composting rate once the new service is fully established.

Biffa is already serving Ashford’s properties although full services will only begin in July with the introduction of a new fleet of Mercedes and Faun-Zoeller collection vehicles as well as Scarab street cleansing vehicles.

The new recycling scheme will start in Maidstone in August and in Swale in February 2014.

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