Folkestone & Hythe District Council don’t have a clue as they “don’t hold the information“. They haven’t a clue about how much waste they produce or how much they recycle. However, they know how much we, the residents of the district produce and recycle. The latest estimate is that we recycle 47%.
The fact our Council declared a climate and ecological emergency back in July, and part of the solution is recycling, it does not bode well for our Council and our Cllrs, when it comes to setting and leading by example, as it holds no information about how much waste it produces, or how much it recycles.
Two organisations who do hold the information about how much waste they produce and how much is recycled are the Secret Intelligence Service – MI6, and Folkestone Harbour Company. Their responses are set out below:
The security intelligence service MI6 produced 230% more waste in 2018/19 than the previous year. It’s recycling rate jumped from 85.65 tonnes in 17/18 to 719 tonnes in 18/19.
As a security body, MI6 has an absolute exemption from the Freedom of Information Act. But it can’t be excluded from the Environmental Information Regulations, which implement a European convention on access to environmental information held by public authorities.
This means that MI6 has to be prepared to release some environmental data, such as how much waste it produces and its recycling rate, where it would not adversely affect national security or come under other EIR exceptions.
MI6 was asked for the cost of its electricity yearly, the price per kWh and the name of their supplier. They declined to respond citing the Freedom of Information act s.84, which provides that they are not a government department for the purposes of the Act.
The Harbour Arm has become a “destination” all year round. Via the businesses which populate the Harbour Arm waste is generated, by them and the public who visit. The Harbour Arm has generated 165.575 tonnes of waste since its opening in 2016. It has recycled 93.712 tonnes or 57%. Since 2018 the Harbour Arm has been recycling food waste as well. Year on year the food recycling rate has risen by nearly 300%
Jan 2016-Dec 2016
46.254 tonnes General waste ( disposed of via RDF (refuse derived fuel) or transfer station. 2.523 tonnes cardboard (recycled), 28.469 tonnes glass (recycled)
Jan 2017-Dec 2017
18.982 tonnes General Waste (disposed of via RDF or transfer station) 1.476 tonnes card (recycled), 16.227 tonnes glass (recycled)
Jan 2018-Dec 2018
52.445 tonnes General Waste (disposed of via RDF or transfer station). 4.252 tonnes card (recycled), 13.124 tonnes glass (recycled) 1.604 tonnes food waste (anaerobic digestion)
Jan 2019- Sept 2019
47.898 tonnes General Waste (disposed of via RDF or transfer station), 2.321 tonnes card (recycled), 17.329 tonnes glass (recycled), 6.387 tonnes food waste (anaerobic digestion)
The fact these two organisation know the amount of waste they produce and how much they recycle, is great. They demonstrate they are actively doing something to help our environment. However, the fact our Council doesn’t have a clue about how much much waste it produces or recycles, as it “does not hold this information“, comes as no surprise to us.
We hope members of the Climate & Ecological Working group, which meets behind closed doors, will address these issue otherwise our Council and our elected representatives will look ever more foolish and hypocritical , especially when contrasted against the Harbour Arm and the openness of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, to disclose their waste and recycling rates.
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent