Thursday, 3 September 2009

More ways to recycle with new trial food waste collection service

Food thrown away and currently buried in landfill will be recycled under the council’s plans to trial a package of new recycling collection services in one area of Leeds.

Council research has shown that food accounts for around a third of the total weight of Leeds households’ black bins waste – for non-recycled rubbish - which could be as much as 35,000 tonnes a year. This waste is sent to landfill sites where it rots releasing CO2 and harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Now, around 8,000 households in Rothwell have been chosen to benefit from a six-month trial of improved recycling collections designed to help the city step up its recycling and composting rates. The trial will be closely monitored and evaluated before any longer term decisions are made about future recycling services.

Residents chosen to take part in the new recycling collection trial will receive information about the services and an invitation to go to a roadshow during September where they can find out more. The new collection trial will begin in October.

Cllr James Monaghan, executive board member for environmental services, said:

“While we’re encouraged that residents in Leeds are recycling more than ever, we want to find ways to be recycling over half of all household waste by 2020, by providing a range of services that work well for residents.

“We know many residents are keen to recycle as much as they can, so we’ve chosen to trial a package of increased recycling collections and separate collection of food waste in one area of the city. This way, we hope to test how our services can work together to cut the amount of waste going to landfill and increase the amount of material recycled or composted.

“Over the coming weeks we’ll be working closely with residents in Rothwell to show them how the new recycling services will work and answer their questions. We’ll be carefully monitoring and evaluating the trial before any longer term decisions are made about future recycling services.”

The European Union and the Government are demanding that councils reduce the amount of waste that they bury in landfill sites. If this action is not done, Leeds could face fines of up to £200 million between now and 2020.
By trialling a separate collection for food waste the council aims to target waste currently being buried in landfill sites and instead send it for treatment to be turned into a usable compost.

The average household throws away around 3kgs of food scraps every week but under the pilot scheme, they will be able to put this waste straight into a small kitchen caddy kept inside the house and then transfer it to a larger food waste bin outside, which will be collected weekly. As part of the pilot, households will be able choose the size of the outside food waste bin to meet their needs.
More information about the new recycling collection trial can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/recycleforleeds

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk