Kingston Council sees fall in recycling centre visits

There has been a 40 per cent fall in visits to the recycling centre since a new booking system was introduced, according to a council report.

For the year 2020-21, there were at least 107,994 visits to the recycling centre. That number is estimated to fall to 68,331 in projections for April to September 2022, despite the report stating there are plenty of booking slots available for the centre to meet any future demands.

The report adds that there was an average of 20 per cent spare capacity during the last year, with 70 slots per hour available, however less slots are being booked as centre visits are projected to fall.

There has also been an estimated £5,000 cost for the council to provide this new booking system. The contract with the recycling centre is planned to run until the end of March 2025. 

A Fair Use Policy was introduced last year, to prevent people from taking advantage of free facilities at the recycling centre to dispose of commercial waste without a licence or dispose of a disproportionate amount of waste. This would have affected many people visiting the recycling centre due to the new booking system and rules on what can and cannot be recycled.

Save the World Club was set up by Des Kay, 35 years ago to empower the Kingston community to create and initiate environmental activities to ensure people have a sustainable future. The club saves items from landfill and incineration. Items are kept in circulation through upcycling, public art and redistribution, along with donating food to vulnerable groups.

Des Kay, Save the World Club chair said: “Post Covid, one has to book before attending – and I understand the visits are restricted. Unfortunately, this only encourages fly tipping, although I’m glad to say it also means much of what was previously dumped now comes to our centre for reuse.”

Kay said he thought people were waking up to how important it is to do all we can to save precious resources through recycling and using recycling centres.

He said: “Recycling is an obvious way to ensure we save and reuse the raw materials, rather than to unnecessarily waste them in landfill and then extract the very same from the rapidly diminishing and limited sources being mined from the ground.

“We have saved hundreds of tons that would have been wasted and put it back into circulation.”

Kay said this recycling has started to break into commercial sectors and has really started to make a difference.

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