Lewisham introduces food waste collections to cut down on waste
Weekly food waste collection is to be introduced in Lewisham to tackle the problem of food waste and boost recycling rates. The service is set to be introduced in the summer, and the aim is to boost the borough’s recycling rates from 17.9% to 24.8%. The council will provide 85,000 kitchen caddies for the waste and 20 litre food waste bins.
Why are the new collections being introduced?
The new food waste collections will not cost the council more money, as the frequency of the collection of non-recyclable rubbish is being reduced from weekly to fortnightly. Green recycling bins for plastic, glass, cardboard, and metals will continue to be emptied every week.
The council states that currently, around 38% of the rubbish that is put into general waste bins is food waste and that this must be reduced. Lewisham has not fared well with its recycling efforts and has lingered at the bottom of the league tables for a while. The council states that hopefully the changes will help them work towards the Government’s target of 50% recycling of waste by 2020.
Food waste is a wasted opportunity
The council has highlighted how food waste can easily be turned into useful products such as biofuel. It is hoped that the new scheme will make people more aware of how much food they actually do throw away. The council added that 67% of residents supported the introduction of a food waste collection service after a public consultation, and that 94% of residents had agreed that it was important to recycle more.
It costs the council £8.1 million to collect waste and recycling, and this won’t rise, as the frequency of the general waste collections is being reduced. The council is also looking at working with nearby councils such as Lambeth, Bromley, and Bexley to share the cost of trucks, depots, and management teams. The council introduced a £60 annual charge for garden waste collection last year, in an attempt to plug the shortfall caused by central government funding cuts.