The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA)

ADBA welcomes inclusion of weekly food waste collections in pickles’ £250m fund

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In a welcome change of tack from previous indications that only weekly residual black bag collections would be supported, the Department for Communities and Local Government today announced that councils looking to deliver weekly food waste collections will receive support from their £250m fund.

The fund will support the adding of a ‘weekly food waste (or organic waste) service to an existing fortnightly collection of residual household waste, where an authority can credibly demonstrate that this represents the preference of local people’.

Commenting on these proposals, Charlotte Morton, ADBA Chief Executive said:

“We fully understand the DCLG’s concern to ensure people get a good waste collection service.  However, there is so much evidence and excellent examples around the country demonstrating that it is possible to both have quality service provision and make the most from our valuable waste streams. Segregating our household waste in our homes has so many benefits and can be done at much lower cost. It also helps us see how much we are wasting – hundreds of pounds a year per household. Reducing this not only saves money for us, but also ensures we make the most of what is left – most of us don’t realise that, if treated through anaerobic digestion, this is capable of producing over 20TWhs of energy each year, equivalent to around 5% of the UK’s domestic gas demand!”

As Lord Redesdale, ADBA Chairman and Liberal Democrat peer has previously said:

“Green infrastructure has huge potential to provide the growth the UK economy so desperately needs – if it is supported by Government policy. Anaerobic digestion (AD) offers a vast range of benefits, treating our waste efficiently and preserving the valuable nutrients it contains, whilst at the same time building growth in the UK economy, creating 35,000 new jobs, generating renewable energy, and tackling climate change.

If the Government wants to meet its commitment to being the ‘greenest Government ever’, prioritising weekly food waste collections alongside a fortnightly separate recyclables collection must be central to waste collection policy. Not only will this help to deliver our core economic and environmental goals, but Local Authorities will profit from higher quality recyclates, which have a higher value.  Such a policy also has huge support from residents: a Friends of the Earth survey last year showed that more than 80% of people with food waste collections say they're no trouble and should be provided by all councils.”

It is also good news that the proposals also specify that, where a council introduces a weekly collection of residual household waste, this ‘‘must be supplemented by a separate recyclables collection at least once a fortnight”.

Councils will have six weeks (March 16 2012) to submit an expression of interest, with initial bids then to be submitted by May 11 2012 and the deadline for final bids August 17 2012. The Government will announce which bids will receive funding in October 2012, with funding due to start in 2013.

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