New food waste bins for Peterborough households

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Thousands of householders across Peterborough are to get two extra bins in a bid by council chiefs to save cash by recycling food waste.

The move means many householders could end up having to juggle five bins - the black landfill, green recycling and brown garden waste bins plus the new two new food waste bins.

Kat Miller, from Peterborough, who is taking part in a council recycling trial. Photo: Paul Franks

Kat Miller, from Peterborough, who is taking part in a council recycling trial. Photo: Paul Franks

Under the £500,000 scheme, about 80,000 households in Peterborough will receive two silver-coloured bins for food waste - a toaster-sized caddy for inside the home and a larger locking container to leave by the roadside for emptying each week.

Peterborough City Council and Enterprise Peterborough, the organisation responsible for waste collection and recycling in the authority, forecast the new venture will break even in six to 12 months.

It should enable the council to make savings of £300,000-a-year by 2013/14 by reducing the amount of fees it pays to dump rubbish in landfill tips.

The diverted food waste will be used to create a kind of compost which can be used on gardens and allotments.

Councillor Matthew Lee, deputy leader at Peterborough City Council, said: “Many people in the city are very enthusiastic recyclers. We hope that they will welcome this opportunity with equal enthusiasm.

“Those not motivated by helping the environment should remember if we all pull together we can save literally hundreds of thousands of pounds per year – money that can be spent on services that matter, not on paying to bury it in landfills.”

Bread, meat, fish, peelings, dairy products, egg shells, teabags, plate scrapings and any food past its use-by date will all be accepted under the scheme.

It will be launched in October and rolled out over an eight-week period on a ward-by-ward basis, roughly in line with how popular recycling already is in those areas.

The details of start dates will be provided in September and October, with reminders sent to each household a week before their service starts.

A first roll of biodegradable caddy liners will also be provided but residents will have to buy future rolls.

Plastic bags must not be used although the waste can be wrapped in newspaper.

A spokesman for Enterprise Peterborough said the use of the bins was not obligatory and no sanctions would be imposed if people chose to still put food waste in with their household collections.

Peterborough Environment City Trust welcomed the move and said it would be supporting the scheme.

Rachel Huxley, chief executive officer, said: “People often don’t realise quite how much food they are wasting and how much that is costing them – which is always important, especially now.

“We are very pleased to hear that Peterborough’s residents will be offered a food waste collection service.”

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Waste collection by numbers

Peterborough currently produces 100,000 tonnes of waste a year, around 43 per cent of which is recycled. The city council and Enterprise Peterborough estimates 40 per cent of its household waste is food waste.

Landfill costs increased 10-fold between 1997 and 2014, breaking the £100 per ton barrier.

In 2010, the city council spent £3.6m on landfill charges. This is due to rise to £5m by 2014.