A biodiversity group has been formed to consider ways of reducing the impact of activities on the environment, and ways of improving environmental performance. The mulching scheme is being extended and includes mulching of Christmas trees and a spring bark mulch giveaway, which took place on 8 May this year. At this event, people from the Herne Bay In Bloom committee were on hand to give gardening advice.
Most local primary and secondary schools take part in the council’s recycling scheme. This year Herne Bay Infants started an awareness campaign for controlling dog mess. The street inspection team regularly check all the street furniture for defects and ensure that remedial action is carried out in a timely fashion. Similarly any vandalism, graffiti and persistent dog fouling are dealt with.
The city council has a two-man graffiti hit squad that is available during the normal working week, and responds to offensive graffiti out of normal working hours. The graffiti is treated with a special acid and then removed with grey water. Grey water is also used to remove chewing gum from pedestrian areas.
The Clean Kent Team initiative continues and is proving to be a popular and worthwhile initiative. This is a joint venture between a range of partners including the city and county councils, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue and shared between the neighbouring district councils of Thanet, Dover and Shepway. The team’s remit is to improve the local environment for the benefit of residents and visitors. They undertake a wide variety of work including fence painting, cleaning memorials, disposing of fly-tipping and tidying up neglected areas such as ponds and ditches. The team is co-ordinated by the city council as the lead authority.
The probation service and Youth Offenders Team provide labour from individuals carrying community payback, and is a very successful exercise.
The city council also provides a fortnightly garden waste collection service, with householders either having a green bin or reusable garden sack. Once collected the green waste is taken to a local composting unit, processed and sold on to landscape gardeners in bulk, or made available to the general public at recycling centres in Herne Bay and Canterbury at a cost of £2.50 per 50 litre bag.