Reducing, reusing and then recycling waste

We all have a part to play in what happens to our waste and things we no longer want.

After your waste has been collected by your local council, or taken to one of our household waste recycling centres, we find the most sustainable way to deal with it.

We aim to first reduce, then reuse, then recycle what you discard and recover energy from any waste that remains.

You are already great at recycling in Kent. But, let's do even better for the planet and your wallets. Why not, buy less and increase the life of things you already have.

Tips for reducing waste

  • Check you need an item before buying it.
  • See if something you already have could be used, repaired or improved instead of buying new.
  • Borrow or rent an item.
  • Gift an experience or vouchers, rather than more items.

Reuse tips

  • Re-gift items you don’t need.
  • Buy gifts, clothes, furniture and more from charity shops and shop for preloved items online.
  • Swap single use cups, straws, cutlery, plates and decorations for ones you can use over and over again.


Recycling is a great way to reduce waste by using what you throw away to create new products or materials.

Get your waste ready for our HWRCs

If you need to visit one of our household recycling centres, please sort your items before you arrive. Watch our video above to learn how to sort out your recycling.

We need your paper and card, plastic, textiles and electrical items separated so that we can give those items another chance in life! Our staff will be there every day except bank holidays, ready to help you recycle as much as possible.

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Recycling - let's get it sorted video transcript.

Find out how we recycle waste

Recover energy

We can use non-recyclable waste to generate electricity. A renewable energy source that makes sure that waste is put to good use. This is all done at a waste to energy plant in Allington.

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Allington Waste to Energy Plant - video transcript

Read more about recovering energy from waste

Treating and disposing of waste

The treatment of waste includes:

  • anaerobic digestion - which converts food waste to gas for energy
  • in-vessel composting for garden waste to create a peat-free compost suitable for use in farming and agriculture
  • road sweepings are recycled and re-used mainly for aggregate in the construction industry.

Waste is only sent to landfill when there is no other alternative and the materials cannot be recycled or treated, for example asbestos and marine carcasses. Our use of landfill remains one of the lowest in England at less than 2%, the national average is 8.5%.

Our recent figures showing the amount of waste in Kent being sent to landfill are:

  • 0.22% in January 2021
  • 0.15% in December 2020
  • 0.11% in November 2020

Find out where your waste goes

We work together with other councils in Kent, known as the Kent Resource Partnership, to collect, dispose of and treat waste. We monitor and report on where waste goes and what happens to it.

Find out what happens with waste