Food waste collection scheme extended to thousands more homes
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
- Pilot scheme trebles in size with thousands more homes included
- Food waste will be collected weekly
- Produces eco-friendly biogas that powers homes
The council’s cabinet member for environment Judi Gasser has announced an extension of a food waste collection scheme to include thousands more Wandsworth homes.
Around 2,300 households in Southfields already benefit from separate collections for food waste as part of a local pilot initiative designed to cut carbon emissions.
The council is now extending the scheme to another 4,400 homes - including for the first time some high-rise properties and also a local school. The aim is to find out how best to collect food waste, ahead of government regulations expected soon.
The expanded trial will include all different types of housing and covers new areas of the borough such as Bedford Hill, the Balham Hill Estate and Andrew Reed House in West Hill. The council also hopes to trial new ways of helping estate residents recycle, starting with Keevil Drive, also in West Hill.
Food waste collected separately is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant where micro-organisms break it down to produce a biogas that’s fed into the National Grid, as well as liquid fertiliser used to improve agricultural soils.
Homes taking part in the scheme will be given kitchen food caddies and bio-degradable caddy liners to store their food waste, plus larger external food containers which are then collected weekly as part of the borough’s normal refuse and recycling collection service.
Judi Gasser said: “We are extending and expanding our food waste collection scheme to thousands more homes in the borough including for residents living in some of our tower blocks as part of wider efforts to improve the recycling services we offer to high-rise properties.
“This is something that many of our residents have called for and puts us ahead of the curve in terms of preparations for the expected Government requirement that food recycling is to become mandatory.
“Collecting food waste separately and diverting it away from all the other household waste we collect will deliver a significant boost to our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint when scaled up across the borough.
“It is broken down organically to produce an eco-friendly biogas that helps power homes and reduces reliance on harmful fossil fuels.
“The council’s main focus though remains on actively encouraging residents to reduce all forms of waste, including food, which is the best environmental outcome possible.
“Minimising the amount of waste material that needs to be collected and processed is a key element of our carbon reduction efforts – and in a cost-of-living crisis - reducing the amount of food that gets thrown away helps ease the pressure on hard-pressed household budgets.”
Councillors on the Environment Committee approved the trial scheme extension at their meeting last night (Wednesday). For more information on the council’s plans to tackle climate change visit https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/campaigns/climate-change/.