A new £4.9million recycling scheme will be launched across Gravesham next month in a bid to boost recycling rates to 40 per cent.

Gravesham is currently one of Kent's worst boroughs for recycling, with around just 25 per cent of waste being recycled.

Andrea Webb, cabinet member for community services, told News Shopper that Gravesham has big hopes for the scheme and says the council has liaised sympathetically with residents.

She said: "We want the scheme to bring up our recycling rates which are low and we need to improve.

"I believe the scheme is going to lead to cleaner streets all over the borough.

"By not having black sacks on the streets we are going to be able to remove food and noxious substances that attract vermin and foxes that lead to the bags being opened and strewn across the streets."

Coun Webb explained Gravesham was one of the last boroughs to implement such a scheme because it is an "expensive and huge logistical challenge".

She said: "We at Gravesham are very fortunate to have had our bid for a government grant and receiving this money has allowed to buy new vehicles and implement the scheme.

"By being one of the last boroughs to implement a scheme we have tried to be sympathetic and we have been able to look at how other boroughs have put in the scheme.

"We have surveyed all the streets and said to elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents an assisted service is available.

"We are listening to our residents because we know it's going to be a major change."

Most houses in the borough will receive a wheelie bin for recycling and food caddies for food waste, but not packaging.

Wheelie bin collections with be collected fortnightly and food waste will be collected every week.

Weekly black bag collections will still continue to be collected.

The improvements will affect 41,000 homes in Gravesham- about eighty per cent of homes in the borough will get the new bins while a service will be brought in for flats next year.

Bins, food caddies and bags will be delivered with a calender showing collection days, for most people this will not change.

Residents will need to use the new recycling bins for paper, card, plastic bottles, yoghurt pots, food and drink cartons, tin cans, aerosols and foil.

Glass cannot be recycled in the bins and the glass banks throughout the borough will be updated.

For more information visit www.gravesham.gov.uk/recycling