Changes to waste sacks from 1 April

From 1 April, Sevenoaks District Council will no longer supply residents with black waste sacks. Residents are being asked to put their household rubbish in sacks made for waste. These could be the black or grey sacks available from most supermarkets and hardware stores.

During the autumn, the Council will also provide every household with a ‘sack for life’ for their recycling. These will replace clear recycling sacks and will cut down on single use plastics.

The Council will continue to supply residents with black sacks until 31 March and clear sacks until everyone has their recycling sack for life.

Like many authorities, Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) is keen to reduce its carbon footprint as well as tackling rising costs.

Since the pandemic, the volume of household waste and recycling collected has increased significantly with more people working from home and greater reliance on home deliveries.

This has meant the cost of providing the service has rocketed in the past four years with more staff and vehicles needed and increased visits to the waste transfer station. Residents value weekly waste collections and SDC is determined to continue to offer this service for as long as it can.

Removing free waste sacks has been shown to increase recycling rates as residents make the best use of their recycling facilities. Once fully implemented, the changes will also save 30,000 miles of driving every year to deliver sacks, further cutting carbon emissions.

Cllr Margot McArthur, Sevenoaks District Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner & Greener, says: “As far as we are aware, we are just one of a handful of councils to still provide weekly waste collections and the last in the country to supply residents with waste sacks. We hope that residents will support these changes to deliver both cost reductions as well as helping the environment.

“We are confident that the changes will deliver environmental benefits by encouraging residents to make the best use of our recycling facilities, decreasing our use of disposable plastics and reducing travel – cutting the District’s carbon footprint.”

Black sacks will still be available to purchase from Edenbridge Town Council offices for the time being.