Issue details

24/00064 - Receipt and processing of organics for south west Kent - gw/2004/01

Proposed decision


The Cabinet Member for Environment is requested to approve the extension of the contractual arrangement for receipt and processing of organic waste in south west Kent (including Maidstone green waste) collected by Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling, and Maidstone Waste Collection Authorities, as well as green waste deposited at North Farm household waste recycling centre.


The extension is proposed to be for a 19 month term to align with the expiration of other organic waste contracts and to allow for a commissioning activity to be undertaken. The extension period is for continuity of service to fulfil the statutory duty of KCC as the Waste Disposal Authority operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


Reason for the decision

KCC currently has in place a contractual arrangement that is due to expire 31st August 2024, and therefore is seeking an extension for the processing of organic waste material currently collected by the  waste collection authorities in south west Kent and Maidstone.



·         As the waste disposal authority, KCC has a statutory responsibility for the processing of organic waste collected by a number of borough and district councils from households at the kerbside, and from residents depositing green waste at household waste recycling centres.

·         KCC currently operates three contracts with Envar Composting Ltd in West Malling for the processing of green waste, one of which is due to expire in August 2024.

·         KCC had been in negotiations with the previous owner of the Blaise composting facility to secure more favourable terms for the extension. However, during these negotiations the facility was sold to Envar Composting Ltd.

·         Although, the contract allows for an extension up to 60 months, KCC is seeking an extension period of 19 months to align to the expiration of other organic contracts and to pursue a full procurement exercise across all organic (green waste) contacts.


1.    Option 1 - Do nothing – the current arrangements will cease and KCC will be unable to accept the waste - 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.


2.    Option 2 - Continue to accept the waste but utilise alternative disposal options by using landfill or incineration - This is not an option as there is a desire and obligation to move material up the waste hierarchy where possible, and to meet recycling and landfill diversion targets. Furthermore, to send this material to incineration would be costly against a treatment option.

3.    Option 3 - Commence a full procurement exercise before the end of the contract – this is not an option as there is insufficient time to undertake a commissioning activity due to the unforeseen sale of the facility and subsequent cessation of negotiations.

4.    Option 4 - Extend for a period between 24 and 60 months (full extension) - This is not discounted and has been considered as a proposal put forward by the new owners; however, it is felt that to align all organic contracts to one end date may produce economies of scale when a full county re-procurement is undertaken.

5.    Option 5 The recommended option - Extend for 19 months (to April 2026) and undertake a commissioning activity. This is the preferred option to enable the undertaking of market research and a commissioning activity to secure a provider who can treat and utilise the waste material meeting the circular economy desired outcomes.  The procurement of the full suite of organic waste contracts aims to deliver greater value for money as the bids should be more competitive.


Preferred Option

·         Option 5 is the preferred option. The Authority is seeking to extend with the incumbent for 19 months, with a full commisioning activity undertaken 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.

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.

The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Budget Strategy – Securing Kent’s Future by seeking best value via the commissioning and procurement route consistent with  the prioritisation of the Council’s best value duty.


Decision type: Key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  -

Decision due: Not before 31st Jul 2024 by Cabinet Member for Environment
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Environment

Lead director: Matthew Smyth

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Kay Groves Email: Email:


The proposed decision will be considered by the Environment and transport Cabinet Committee on 9th July 2024.


Financial implications: • The Budget for 24-25 is £1,564,300. The estimated annual cost for 24-25 £2,008,742. There is a budget impact regarding the MTFP as the budget was reduced due to the anticipated savings that can no longer be delivered following the sale of the composting plant. It has however been negotiated that KCC receive a profit share for the sale of the composted material, although this will not completely reduce the budget gap, it will contribute to reducing it. In addition, if this waste is not processed through this contract, it will be sent for energy from waste at a greatly increased gate fee, therefore increasing the overall budget pressure. • The cost of the 19 month extension is £3,180,500. • Haulage costs are accounted for within the HWRC & Transfer Station contracts. • Subsequent full retender will achieve synergies and economies of scale.

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 organic/green waste

Equalities implications: 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. No Protected characteristics are impacted. Data Protection implications • There is no personal data collected or exchanged and no implications under GDPR.