Council announces plan to recycle food waste

By Naomi Wilcock

Brighton and Hove Council is looking to apply a service that collects waste food after figures showed that 22,000 tonnes of food waste was thrown away in 2009/10.

Photo used under Creative Commons by Simon Carey.

The council is seeking external funding for the pilot service, which is planned to start in 2013/14, to trial food waste collection for 6000 homes in the area.

Funding for the scheme is hoped to come from a new £250m fund announced by the government in September this year, which aims to support councils to deliver weekly collections of household waste.

Gillian Marston, head of the council’s refuse service Cityclean, said: “Everyone feels guilty about throwing away food and regrets the wasted cash.

“So as well as keeping tonnes out of landfill, it’s a load off your mind.”

The food waste will be turned into high-quality compost and 136 councils currently have food waste collection services.

The council estimates that around a third of the waste thrown away by households is food and that each home throws away around 3.5kg of food a week.

Gillian Marston said: “A by-product of food waste collection is that people waste less food and save money.

“Separating food waste out really makes people aware of how much edible food they are throwing away.”

Other sources of funding for the project include the EU’s Interreg, and if the scheme is introduced, it will safeguard the council against possible EU fines for low recycling rates.

The council hopes that through collecting food, it will help them to meet higher targets for overall recycling.

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