Shropshire to scrap separate food waste collections

1 September 2010

By Chris Sloley 

Shropshire council has outlined its plans to withdraw the separate weekly collections of household food waste it runs in three areas in the south of the county - a move it claims will save it £225,000 in operational and disposal costs.

At a time when the council needs to make savings, while still providing the best possible services, these changes will allow us to continue to provide an excellent, though more cost-effective, food waste collection service 

 
Cllr Mike Owen, cabinet member for economy and waste, Shropshire council

The unitary authority last week (August 23) began alerting residents in Ludlow, Church Stretton and Craven Arms to the planned change, which will take place in the week starting October 4 2010 and brings the areas into line with the rest of the county.

The council instead plans to collect the material in green wheeled bins which are currently used for green waste and cardboard, while residents who currently have their green waste collected in a sack will be issued with stronger sacks to take into account the additional element of the food waste.

The separated food waste had been sent to the anaerobic digestion facility at Ludlow operated by BiogenGreenfinch, but is now set to be sent to Vital Earth's in-vessel composting facility at Market Drayton for reprocessing.

Shropshire council claims that the move, which was originally agreed at a budget setting meeting on February 25 2010, is being taken to ensure that food waste is still collected but is done so "in the most cost effective way".

The council hopes that the move will save it around £225,000 - with £191,863 of savings being made from operational costs to run the service and £33,438 on disposal costs.

Councillor Mike Owen, Shropshire council's cabinet member for economy and waste, said: "At a time when the council needs to make savings, while still providing the best possible services, these changes will allow us to continue to provide an excellent, though more cost-effective, food waste collection service to residents in Ludlow, Church Stretton and Craven Arms."

Collection

The method set to be employed in south Shropshire echoes the experience for householders in the north of the county, who have a fortnightly green waste and cardboard collection - which includes food waste.

Separate food waste collections had been introduced to the three south Shropshire areas following a government-funded trial of the scheme in October 2007. The collections were carried out by the council's waste collection contractor Veolia Environmental Services.

The three areas receiving the separate food waste collections comprised South Shropshire district council before it became part of the new unitary Shropshire council in April 2009 as part of a major local government shake-up (see letsrecycle.com story).