Fund could introduce weekly food waste collection


A quarter of a billion pound fund has been set up to help support councils get a weekly bin collection for residents, as well as a weekly food waste collection. Charlotte Reid has more.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched the Weekly Collection Support scheme last week, which aims to offer additional funding to English Councils to introduce weekly bin collections. The councils have until May 11th 2012 to submit a bid for the new funding.

The scheme is working to add a weekly food waste service collection as well. Its report says, “This additional service will reduce the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill, and reduce the amount of biodegradable waste that has to be stored in or around the home”.

This move has received praise from Friends of the Earth, with their waste campaigner Julian Kirby,  saying, “At last Eric Pickles has seen sense – despite all the spin, this scheme offers councils cash to introduce weekly food waste collections, even if they keep fortnightly black bag bin rounds.

Weekly food waste collections will help tackle fears over hygiene – and boost the huge potential for generating genuinely renewable energy from waste”.

The Government’s waste adviser, WRAP, welcomes the scheme saying it will “support improvements to recycling services including separate weekly food waste collections”.

There are worries from the Liberal Democrats that a weekly bin collection service will lead to a reduction in recycling rates. However, Chris Murphy, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) does not want to see a reduction in recycling either.

He said, “In the last decade, the UK has seen a phenomenal rise in recycling thanks to the efforts of local councils and householders.

In the majority of cases, this has been achieved by investing in more convenient and well designed local recycling services to separate out a growing range of material.

We would wish not to see a fixation with frequency compromising the progress made so far in delivering high quality recycling”.

Wales has the highest recycling rate in the UK at 49%, and its environment minister, John Griffiths, put its progress down to the fact that every local council offers a weekly food collection service.

He said, “Separating out food waste not only diverts significant waste away from landfill, it also makes us far more aware of the food we are wasting”.

It is important to tackle our food waste; research from WRAP says that people are throwing away 10% of their weekly food shop. Recycling more definitely helps, but wasting less in the first place is better.

There are a number of shops that are working on helping their customers. A recent report from the British Retail Consortium said retailers had spent £10m on helping consumers to reduce their waste through showing how food should be stored properly and handing out recipes to use with leftovers.

When you are shopping think about the environmental and sustainable options. Blue & Green Tomorrow recommends using the Ethical Superstore.

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Picture source: Steve Snodgrass