Swindon has become the first town in Wiltshire to trial weekly food waste collections.
The new service began on 2 September and will see 11,000 households testing the service for 26 weeks. After this period has ended the council’s cabinet will then consider whether the service is rolled out to the rest of the town.
Swindon borough council claims the trial has the potential to divert up to 200 tonnes of food waste away from landfill or energy recovery. Swindon has a Waste to Fuel or Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) plant for its residual waste.
Introduction of the trial comes as the government looks to have more councils in England collect food waste from the kerbside. The measure is one of the consistency plans set out in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for the collection of waste and recyclables from homes (see letsrecycle.com story).
Portsmouth city council is among the latest to also announce a trial of food waste collections, with around 9,000 households involved in its initiative (see letsrecycle.com story).
Each house involved in the trial will receive a five-litre indoor grey caddy, along with a 23-litre green caddy for outdoor use. Residents in flats will receive the indoor caddy and a large food waste bin will be added to their communal bin stores. Biodegradable or compostable liners can be used to dispose of waste.
The caddies for the trial have been provided by Coral.
Swindon’s 2019-2029 waste strategy identified the trial of separate collections of food waste for anaerobic digestion as part of the strategic delivery plan. These trials are part of the year one priorities and it is noted that if these are successful food waste collections could be introduced more widely.
The waste strategy sets out how Swindon will increase recycling and reduce waste across the borough to protect the environment, both here as well as nationally and internationally.
Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon borough council’s cabinet member for highways and the environment, said: “Trialling food waste collections is one of the key actions from the Waste Strategy we agreed last year which aims to protect the environment and make sure we can collect Swindon’s waste in a sustainable way.
“Food waste collections are carried out by many other councils up and down the country and can have a huge impact on hitting recycling targets set by national Government as well as making sure we are processing our waste in the best possible way for the environment.”