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Kent to curb EfW reliance

Kent County Council (KCC) has launched a strategy for the council’s household waste disposal until 2035.

With a significant increase in housing growth forecast across Kent, the amount of waste produced is expected to rise by more than a fifth, from 711,000 tonnes to 864,000 tonnes a year, between now and 2031.

In 2014-15, 48.4% of household waste in Kent was recycled or composted, 40.7% was sent to energy-from-waste (EfW) plants and 10.9% was landfilled.

It says the amount sent to landfill has decreased to 4% during 2015-16 by more recycling and recovering ’difficult-to-deal-with’ waste, such as mattresses and hard plastic objects.

However, the council recognised that it will have to reduce the amount it sends to EfW facilities to 30% by 2030 if the EU’s circular economy proposals are adopted in the UK.

It says this material will instead have to be recycled or composted. An alternative could be to increase reuse at EfW sites.

Another target of the strategy is to stop trade waste from illegally entering its HWRCs.

As part of the Kent Resource Partnership, KCC said its disposal strategy will inform parts of the Kent Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy.

The council is asking residents for their views on the strategy until 2 October.

It recently renewed its two-year contract with Viridor, with an emphasis on sharing the commodity price risk involved in collecting and processing dry mixed recyclables.

Around 60,000 tonnes of materials collected from households in seven districts across west and mid-Kent every year will be transported to the firm’s MRF in Crayford.

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