Peterborough residents will soon be able to recycle their food
waste as easily as they do their plastics, paper, tins and cans,
under plans announced by the city council today.
The move is aimed at increasing the amount of waste recycled
across the city and save hundreds of thousands of pounds per year
for the city’s taxpayers in the process.
The new, weekly, food collection service is expected to be
welcomed by many residents whose main objection to the introduction
of alternate weekly collections was the presence of food in black
Peterborough currently produces 100,000 tonnes of waste, around
43 per cent of which is recycled on average. The rest is currently
sent to landfill. The new service is anticipated to save taxpayers
more than £300,000 per year by 2013/14* in addition to the savings
from less food waste – estimated to be more than £250 per year.
A large proportion of the weight of waste that Peterborough
residents put in their black bins, some 40 per cent, is food waste
– leftovers, plate scrapings, mouldy bread, and so on (see notes
for full list).
Instead of paying for this to be buried at great expense in
landfill sites, many councils – soon to include Peterborough –
collect is and send it away to be turned into a soil conditioner,
which can be used on gardens and allotments. Renewable energy can
also be captured from this process.
Starting in October, Enterprise
Peterborough, which will be introducing the service on the city
The system is designed to be simple and convenient. Each
household will be given a small silver caddy for the kitchen and a
second, larger (23-litre) locking food waste containers, to sit
alongside the other outside recycling bins.
The outside caddy, which is less than a quarter of the size of
wheelie bins, is then put out every week with whatever colour bin
is due to be collected that week, whether it’s black (rubbish) or
brown (garden) and green (recycling).
The service will be rolled out over an
eight-week period to enable a carefully managed, step-by-step
process. The details of start dates will be provided in September
and October, with reminders sent to each household a week before
their service starts.
A roll of biodegradable caddy liners will also
be provided initially. Residents can then decide whether to
continue using liners or newspaper instead (plastic bags must not
Commenting on the new food waste collection
Matthew Lee, Deputy Leader, Peterborough City Council, said,
“As a country around a third of our food goes to waste. This new
food collection service will make us think about the amount of food
we waste and help us turn what we do throw away into useful
compost, or produce energy.
“Many people in Peterborough are very
enthusiastic recyclers. We hope that they will welcome this
opportunity with equal enthusiasm. I’m sure that everyone that
gives it a try will be surprised how easy, convenient and un-smelly
the whole process is!
“For those that aren’t motivated by helping
the environment, just remember that if we all pull together we can
save literally hundreds of thousands of pounds per year – money
that can be spent on services that really matter, not on paying to
bury it in landfills.”
Rachel Huxley, CEO of Peterborough Environment City Trust,
added, “People often don’t realise quite how much food they are
wasting and how much that is costing them – which is always
important, especially now.
“We are very pleased to hear that
Peterborough’s residents will be offered a food waste collection
service. We’ll be supporting the City Council all the way, as will
many other organisations with which we work closely.”