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Keeping up the fight on food waste

Keeping up the fight on food waste

14 July 2021
[ Zoom ]
Food waste being scraped into a caddy

About 25 per cent of waste in residents’ blue bags is food waste although this is really easy and convenient to recycle every week. 


That’s why even more residents are being urged to take up food waste recycling, with only about half of households currently participating.

 

More than 11,000 tonnes of food waste have been recycled thanks to Wokingham borough residents since April 2019. 


That’s enough to power 1,210 homes for a year or a day’s power for 443,960 homes. Or in the context of Wokingham borough, almost a week’s worth of power for the borough’s 70,000 homes.  But we need to do more.

 

£1million saved


It’s not just the environmental benefits—it is also about helping to ensure money is being saved on costs by the council and therefore its taxpayers. 


Each tonne of food waste recycled saves us about £100, meaning since the service started in April 2019 more than £1million has been saved in disposal costs.

 

Since the food waste collection service was introduced, the amount of food waste in the blue refuse bags has reduced by about 15 percentage points (from 40 to 25 per cent). 


But we can get that to zero and drive up the borough’s recycling rate to help it on its journey to be a carbon neutral borough by 2030. If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest contributor of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere after China and America.


Get a caddy and start recycling

 

The council has just delivered a new roll of food waste caddy liners to each household in the borough with our annual delivery of blue waste bags, so now is the time to start recycling your food waste if you don’t already. 


All you have to do is to order your indoor and outdoor food waste caddies and start using them. Residents can order online and arrange for these to be delivered within a week or so. The caddy is then put out on your normal collection day alongside your rubbish and recycling.

 

“Making the most of the food waste recycling service helps boost our recycling rates and means residents will have more space in their blue bags for items which can’t go anywhere else,” said Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure. 


“I’d like to thank all the residents who take the time to use the service and it really is making a difference both financially and environmentally.

 

“No amount is too small and it all adds up to make a real difference, I’d urge anyone who hasn’t made use of the service yet to give it a try and play their part in increasing our recycling rates.”


Reminder - what goes in the caddy


Residents can put meat and bones, pet food, fruit and vegetables, eggs and shells, dairy, cooking oil, fish, bread and pastries, teabags and coffee into their caddy. 


Once it’s collected, food waste is then taken to an anaerobic digestion plant and converted to gas and fertiliser. The gas is used to power homes via the National Grid and the fertiliser used to grow crops.

 

Across the UK more than 4.5million tonnes of food is wasted from homes each year. The carbon generated from food waste in the UK is the equivalent to taking one in four cars off the road. 


The council is aiming to have a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2030 and is doing its bit to cut down on all types of waste. 


More from Wokingham Borough Council 

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