Food waste collection scheme
Published Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Following successful food waste trials the collection scheme is set to be rolled out across South Lanarkshire.
The move is part of the Scottish Government's recycling and composting targets which require councils to recycle and compost 50% of waste by 31 March 2013 with its Zero Waste Plan introducing the requirement to segregate food waste.
In preparation to take up this new challenge, the council recently carried out an eight week pilot scheme to determine the quantity of food waste available for collection and how acceptable the proposed method of collection was for householders.
In total, 2389 households in the Hamilton and Cambuslang areas were issued with a food waste caddy and three rolls of biodegradable liners to collect food waste from their kitchen. At the end of the pilot a survey was taken which found that the majority of the householders surveyed supported the scheme and the proposed collection method and the average quantity of food waste collected was the equivalent to 2.51kg per household per week.
The scheme is now set to begin in August this year with collections starting in April 2012. Householders will be supplied with a kitchen caddy and biodegradable liners. They will be asked to use the supplied biodegradable liners only as plastic bags and supermarket biodegradable bags are not suitable for the composting system used for food waste.
The following are some examples of the types of food you can put in your caddy:
- Raw and cooked fruit and vegetables and their peelings
- Tea bags and ground coffee
- Raw and cooked meat and fish
- Solid dairy products such as butter and cheese
- Rice, pasta and beans
- Breads, cakes and pastries
- Leftovers and plate scrapings
Please do not put packaging or wrappings into the food waste caddy.
Once the food has been placed in the liner and all air expelled it can be tied at the top and placed for collection directly into your outdoor black/grey domestic waste bin. The food waste will be separated at a processing plant and then composted and the final product used for landscaping and brownfield restoration.
About 20% of the UK's climate change emissions are related to the production, processing, transportation and storage of food. Food waste is currently disposed of in landfill where it breaks down and gives off carbon dioxide and methane gas which are harmful greenhouse gases and major contributors to climate change.
Councillor Hamish Stewart, the depute chair of the council's Community Resources Committee, said: "We spend approximately £2.5million each year on the disposal of waste, including food waste, to landfill and over £5m on landfill tax.
"These costs rise each year and are an increasing burden on the council's budget. Directing food waste away from landfill will contribute to increase recycling and composting levels and divert biodegradable waste from landfill which are both key actions in the Council's Sustainable Development Strategy, the Council Plan and the Single Outcome Agreement.
"The development of an appropriate system for diverting food waste from landfill is necessary to avoid the risk of future financial penalties under the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Policies."