Environment

Recycling Centre reopens from 15 May

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will open from Friday 15 May for essential use.

It’s important for you to limit use of these restricted slots, as they should be used for emergency waste disposal.

To be able to visit a HWRC you must book a slot in advance. Please note that booking slots are very limited to maintain social distancing for staff and visitors.

Booking will be available from Wednesday 13 May 2020

Note that the demand is high: there was a queue of 17500 to get on to the online booking form at Wednesday lunchtime; there is likely to be a long wait time on the phone.

Who can visit

You will only be able to book one trip in any 4 week period to ensure everyone can use the site safely.

Please note that the restricted vehicle and voucher scheme still applies. If you have a restricted vehicle you must apply for a voucher.

See our previous post for links to KCC and ABC pages giving information about other council services.

Kent County Council
https://www.kent.gov.uk/waste-planning-and-land/rubbish-and-recycling/visiting-a-hwrc-during-coronavirus

Enjoy bonfires and barbecues responsibly

With many spending their extra time at home in the garden we remind you to be careful and considerate when lighting bonfires and barbecues.

Please consult your neighbours before lighting a bonfire or barbecue, essential workers may need to wash clothes more frequently and smoke can aggravate some medical conditions. Neighbours may also mistake bonfire smoke as being from a property or uncontrolled fire and call the fire brigade.

Rules regarding bonfires.

You must not burn general household waste, but may burn garden waste from your own garden if this is done without causing a nuisance to others.

If there is no alternative to having a bonfire, you must:

  • Ensure that smoke does not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Ensure that the smoke does not affect highway safety

and you should:

  • Avoid burning in hot weather – when neighbours are more likely to need windows open
  • Notify neighbours that you will be having a fire
  • Ensure that the fire burns quickly, rather than be left to smoulder
  • Ensure that green waste has completely dried out prior to burning
  • Ensure that the fire is not left unattended, and have a means to extinguish a fire if necessary
  • Ensure that the wind direction will take any smoke away from neighbouring properties

Burning of commercial waste

In addition to the law of nuisance, it is an offence to burn commercial waste (including construction and demolition waste), and to produce dark smoke from industrial or trade premises. No bonfires should be lit on commercial premises, except for the burning of ‘green’ landscaping waste cut down at that property.

Fire service safety advice:

  • Remember to build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches.
  • Keep it to a manageable size and make sure it is evenly built so it collapses inwards as it burns.
  • Always have a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of emergency. If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight, call 999.
  • Be sure not to leave bonfires unattended and dampen them down fully once you’re done.

Those enjoying barbecues are also urged to do so safely, keeping cooking well away from fences, foliage and buildings even if there are no flames, because radiated heat alone can cause nearby plants or structures catch fire.  

Ashford Borough Council
https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/environmental-health/bonfires-and-wood-burners/bonfires/

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/april-2020/rise-in-bonfire-999-calls-linked-to-covid-19-isolation/

Save by switching

Use the Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool to see if you can save money by switching energy tariff or supplier.

Use your power to make a BIG difference!

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust
’20 Ways to Save Easy, expert-approved, energy-saving actions’
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/BESW%202020/20%20ways%20to%20save%20(1).pdf

Save on heating

  • If you have a timer on your central heating system, set the heating and hot water to come on only when required.
  • If you turn down your main thermostat by 1 degree, you can save around 10% on your energy bill. But make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather. Cold homes can damage your health.
  • Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £75 a year.
  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
  • Draught-proofing of window and doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save around £20 a year on energy bills.

Learn more from the Energy Savings Trust

Use your power to make a BIG difference!

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust
’20 Ways to Save Easy, expert-approved, energy-saving actions’
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/BESW%202020/20%20ways%20to%20save%20(1).pdf

Image: Energy Savings Trust

Save on appliances

Turning your appliances off standby mode can save you £30 a year and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.

Use your power to make a BIG difference!

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust
’20 Ways to Save Easy, expert-approved, energy-saving actions’
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/BESW%202020/20%20ways%20to%20save%20(1).pdf

Save on lighting

  • Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again. This will save you around £14 a year on your annual energy bills.
  • Replace your bulbs as and when you can with energy efficient LEDs – on average it could save about £35 a year on bills.

Use your power to make a BIG difference!

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust
’20 Ways to Save Easy, expert-approved, energy-saving actions’
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/BESW%202020/20%20ways%20to%20save%20(1).pdf

Save in the kitchen and bathroom

Save in the kitchen

  • Use a bowl to wash-up rather than running a tap,
  • reduce your washing machine use by one cycle a week, and
  • only fill the kettle with the water you need

and you could save around £36 a year in the kitchen.

Save in the bathroom

  • Spend one minute less in the shower each day and a family of four could save £75 a year on energy and water bills.
  • A dripping tap can waste more than 5,300 litres of water a year, so make sure your taps are properly turned off and change washers promptly when taps start to drip.
  • A running tap wastes more than 6 litres of water every minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.
  • Replacing an inefficient shower head with a water efficient one could save a household of four people around £70 a year off gas bills and around £115 a year off water bills.

Use your power to make a BIG difference!

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust
’20 Ways to Save Easy, expert-approved, energy-saving actions’
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/BESW%202020/20%20ways%20to%20save%20(1).pdf

Big Energy Saving Week

Despite the high atmospheric pressure we are currently experiencing the temperature is expected to remain low so we’ll all be using more energy.

We all have the power to save energy, money and the environment through everyday actions. Simple changes such as switching energy supplier or tariff, accessing discounts or grants, and making homes more energy-efficient can make a big difference.

During Big Energy Saving Week we will post some ideas that you can use to save at home.

Flood Warning lifted

The Flood Warning affecting parts of South Ashford was lifted on Monday Morning and the Flood Alert for the Lower Stour was lifted thisMorning (Christmas Day) but the whole of the Upper Stour area remains at Flood Alert

Updated at 7:42pm Wednesday 25 December 2019

Upper River Stour

Flooding is possible – be prepared

River levels have fallen significantly throughout the Upper Stour catchment but some low lying land and roads may still be affected by flood water, particularly in the area around Great Chart. The Aldington and Hothfield flood storage areas are still impounding water from the recent heavy rainfall last week but water levels are falling steadily. The weather conditions are expected to remain dry overnight but further rainfall is forecast on Boxing Day, 26 December 2019 which is likely to cause further localised flooding of low lying land.   We are continuing to monitor the situation as the catchments remain very responsive to further rainfall.    This Flood Alert message will be updated tomorrow morning, 26 December 2019.

This information was last updated at 7:42pm Wednesday 25 December 2019

River levels are falling through the catchment. We are storing water at Aldington and Hothfield Flood Storage Reservoirs and they are emptying slowly. Today is forecast to be dry but the occasional shower cannot be ruled out. Weak frontal systems are forecast on Monday/Tuesday night with blustery showers embedded, a second system is forecast for Thursday. The current expectation is that these are not likely to be as disruptive as last weeks rainfall. We are monitoring conditions. Residents should remain vigilant as catchments are saturated.

This information was last updated at 12:33pm Monday 23 December 2019

South Ashford on the East Stour River, Aylesford Stream, Whytewater Dyke and Ruckinge Dyke

Last time in force: 8:57am Monday 23 December 2019

After a period of drier weather, river levels have fallen and the risk of flooding has now passed.

This information was last updated at 8:57am Monday 23 December 2019

Upper River Stour

Flooding is possible – be prepared

River levels are high following recent heavy rainfall. The weather forecast is for less rainfall over the next few days, which will allow river levels to reduce. The ground remains very wet, and river levels will rise again if there is further heavy rain. We continue to monitor the situation closely, This message will be updated in the morning on Monday 23/12/19, or as the situation changes.

This information was last updated at 7:05pm Sunday 22 December 2019