Issue details

23/00086 - Processing of Dry Recyclables (without fibre) Contract

Reason for the decision

·       KCC currently has in place contractual arrangements that are due to expire 30th September 2023, and therefore is seeking new contractual arrangements for the processing of dry recyclable material currently collected by Dover District Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Thanet District Council, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.


·       As the Waste Disposal Authority, KCC has a statutory responsibility for the processing of dry recyclables collected by a number of Borough and District Councils from households at the kerbside.

·       Waste Management currently operates a contract with Veolia ES (UK) Ltd for the processing ofdry recyclables which totals c.26,500 tonnes per annum, based on 22/23 outturn.

·       The waste is currently transported to the Veolia Rainham MRF for processing and recycling.

·       The current Veolia contract completes on the 30th September 2023, as such, the commissioning process is underway using the ESPO (Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation) Framework.

·       This commissioning ensures continuity of service in respect of the acceptance of these waste materials collected by the Waste Collection Authorities.

·       Due to the impending changes in legislation, KCC considers it prudent to only award this contract for a period of up to 48 months to account for any future changes that may impact the type of materials collected.

·       Alternative suppliers through this framework are at a substantial distance from Rainham and are therefore cost-prohibitive due to the added haulage burdens to transport these recyclable materials.



1.    Do nothing – the current contracts will elapse, and recycling will be diverted to Allington Energy from Waste facility for incineration. This is not an option as KCC as the Waste Disposal Authority has a statutory obligation to use the waste hierarchy to process waste, where recycling is placed higher than energy recovery.

2.    Discontinue accepting the dry recyclables at the Transfer Stations via the Collection Authorities – this is not an option due to KCC’s obligation to receive this material under waste legislation and dispose of it as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

3.    Undertake a commissioning activity to procure a new contract - The current Contract was awarded under the ESPO Framework (Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation) which is a route to market via ‘call off without competition’ i.e. direct award. KCC is looking to undertake commissioning via the same route rather than a competitive procurement process due to the limited market available for this material type and the associated demand on facilities.


Preferred Option

·       Option 3 is the preferred option. The Authority is seeking to appoint a provider for an initial term of up to 48 months that will benefit and achieve the best outcomes for the Authority and Kent households, and fulfil the statutory duty of KCC operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to process dry recyclables.


The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Strategy – Framing Kent’s Future 2022 – 2026 one of the four key priorities:

·       Priority 3: Environmental step change: Continue to work with our commissioning partners to create the infrastructure and jobs that enable us to reprocess waste materials and produce energy within the county, in order to maintain a closed loop local economy



Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Ashford Rural East; Birchington & Rural; Broadstairs; Cheriton Sandgate & Hythe East; Cliftonville; Dover North; Dover Town; Dover West; Folkestone East; Folkestone West; Hythe West; Malling Central; Malling North; Malling North East; Malling Rural East; Malling West; Ramsgate; Tonbridge; Tunbridge Wells East; Tunbridge Wells North; Tunbridge Wells Rural; Tunbridge Wells South; Tunbridge Wells West;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/09/2023

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  - View reasons

Decision due: Not before 6th Oct 2023 by Cabinet Member for Environment
Reason: To allow the required 28 day notice period under Executive Decision arrangements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Environment

Lead director: Matthew Smyth

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Kay Groves 03000 411642 Email:

Financial implications: • The existing cost of this contract is £797,385 per annum based on July-Sept gate fee, the rebate and 22/23 outturn tonnages. • The budget for the existing contract is £737,000 per annum, with 28,282 budgeted tonnes. • Indicative pricing has been received which results in an annual pressure of £354,968 due to inflation and realignment of the commodity sale price of the recycling materials, based on budgeted tonnes. • This cost pressure will be submitted within the current forecast and the Medium Term Financial Plan as an unavoidable contract pressure. • Haulage costs are accounted for within the HWRC & Transfer Station contracts. • Budget code: P 7WC 61018 523 50N 0000 00 Recycling

Legal implications: • A key function of the Waste Disposal Authority operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, is to provide outlets for the processing of dry recyclables. • The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy sets out a vision and a number of policies to move to a more circular economy, such as within Chapter 3 – Resource recovery and waste management where there is an ambition to drive better quantity and quality in recycling, and more investment in domestic recycled materials markets. • A draft Statutory Instrument superseded the Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (England) Regulations 2022 which was laid before Parliament on 22nd November. These Regulations came into force on 28th February 2023.

Equalities implications: • An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out and as this is not a public facing service there is no potential for discrimination. All opportunities to promote equality are currently being taken in line with KCC policies and statutory requirement as part of the Household Waste Recycling Centre service. No Protected characteristics are impacted.