24 April 2019 by Elizabeth Slow

Ipswich drops commingled organics service

A switch from IVC organic waste treatment to open windrow composting has seen Ipswich borough council end the collection of food waste from residents via a commingled service.

The council says that the move has been prompted by an increase in the cost of the in-vessel composting (IVC) treatment service from its current organic waste contractor, Anglian Water Services Ltd.

Ipswich council will stop collecting food waste in its brown bin service for organics

The brown bin service covers nearly 46,000 properties across the town, with around 10,000 tonnes of waste collected each year.

Kitchen waste

From 1 May, the council will no longer accept “kitchen waste” such as fruit and vegetable peelings and tea bags in the brown composting bin collected from households fortnightly. Instead residents will be asked to place food waste in with residual waste, which is sent for treatment at Suez’s Great Blakenham energy from waste facility.

The announcement on the alteration to its organic waste collection service follows a change in contactor for the council to organics recycler Material Change.

According to the council, Anglian Water had proposed “significant cost increases” to process the brown bin waste which included commingled garden and kitchen waste.

“In order to keep costs down we are now using another company, but they do not accept kitchen waste,” the council said.

Material Change

From May, the green waste collected in Ipswich will be sent to Material Change’s Creeting St Mary site to be recycled. The Creeting site is an open windrow composting site that currently receives similar green waste from local authorities in Suffolk.

As an open windrow site, it is permitted to receive green waste but cannot be permitted to receive food waste.

The Creeting site operates to PAS:100 and compost quality protocol standards and all material produced is classed as a product, which is sold to local farmers, landscapers and residents in loose or bagged form. The bags are sold through council household waste and recycling sites.

Green waste from the town will now be sent for composting at Material Change’s Creeting St Mary site

A statement provided by Material Change reads: “Following the foot and mouth and swine fever epidemics in early 2000s the Government commissioned a study to assess the risk of harmful bacteria from compost derived from kerbside collections re-entering the animal food chain. The report that was commissioned, assessed that the risk of harmful bacteria from waste, which had been in a kitchen, was greater than that directly from the garden.

“As a result, the composting of “kitchen botanicals” such as lettuce leaves and cauliflower leaves from a kitchen require a method of composting which provides extra levels of certainty that the temperature and time needed to kill any harmful bacteria are met.”


Instead of putting kitchen waste into the brown bin, the council is advising residents to compost this material at home or dispose of it in the black residual waste bin.

Ipswich council said following the introduction of the changes, collection crews will be checking brown bins which may be “rejected” if non-compliant items are placed in the bin.

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, a spokesperson for the council confirmed that following its service change, the only council in Suffolk to collect food waste is East Suffolk.


To post your comment, please login or signup.

Login Sign up