Consultation will decide future of Kent HRWC booking system

Kent County Council has today (19 August) announced the launch of a consultation on the future of the booking system for Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

Introduced as an emergency measure to ensure social distancing during the pandemic, Kent County Council has made amendments to the booking system in response to customer feedback and the easing of restrictions. The new consultation has been launched to canvas views on whether the system’s use should continue.

A Household Waste Recycling Centre in Kent
Kent’s 18 HWRCs have been operating at full capacity since 19 July, with slots available to book every half hour through the council’s website. Customers without internet access or an email address are able to make bookings by calling the Council’s contact centre.

Under the current system, there is no limit to the number of visits that can be made to the HWRCs. Bookings can be made for the next day, and up to a month in advance, with customers having the ability to amend or cancel slots.

The Council has observed a series of benefits from the booking system, including the easing of queues, decreased traffic at and around the HWRCs due to customers bringing waste infrequently in bulk, improved and targeted communication with customers, and the ability to plan site maintenance around customer demand.

Feedback collected so far has indicated that customers enjoy the convenience of the booking system, but would prefer to ‘turn up and go’. Residents are encouraged to share their views by completing the consultation questionnaire, which is set to close 30 September.

Susan Carey, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The booking system has been one of the ways we have been able to keep visitors and staff safe at our HWRCs.

“We know, from people surveyed, that it has proved popular with the majority who have taken part in our questionnaires, but we want to hear from those who may not have shared their thoughts with us before.

“We are therefore canvassing wider views on the booking system and I would like to encourage as many people as possible, no matter the type of experience they have had, to take part in the consultation.”