Broadland residents to get bins for food waste

Sarah HallThousands more homes around Norwich will be given bins to use for food waste after a local council was given a share of �1.3m to extend a pioneering collection scheme.Sarah Hall

Thousands more homes around Norwich will be given bins to use for food waste after a local council was given a share of �1.3m to extend a pioneering collection scheme.

Broadland District Council has been trialling a food waste collection service for about 6,000 households in parts of Thorpe, Hellesdon, Sprowston, Old Catton and Taverham, but has been handed just under �45,000 from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs to extend it even further.

The money, made available under the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), will be used to extend the service to 4,000 more Broadland properties, including households and local schools in spring next year.

John Fisher, portfolio holder for environmental policy development, said: 'We knew we were running a successful scheme. We've managed to deliver excellent value for money and residents have responded brilliantly.

'Of the initial 16 trial areas in the country, Broadland has had the best participation rates. Food waste is a tremendous energy resource and we'd like to extend our collection service across the whole district eventually.

'We're leading the way for local councils in Norfolk and are pleased that WRAP has recognized this.

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'At present, food waste can be turned into compost instead of sitting in landfill sites creating methane. Ultimately we expect it to be a source of green energy.'

Around 30% of the waste which currently goes to landfill is food and that can soar by around 80pc over the Christmas period.

Households to be offered the new collection service in Broadland will each receive information once final decisions have been made nearer the start of the trial.

A pilot scheme providing a third wheelie bin to collect food and garden waste will also begin in part of the Great Yarmouth borough next year.

The use of food waste bins has been criticised by Doretta Cocks, founder of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, as another drive by the Government towards forcing people to recycle and giving councils an excuse to cut back bin collections to once a fortnight.

But environment secretary Hilary Benn said research showed 78pc of people supported having a separate food waste collection to enable recycling of food, and two thirds of households said they used their separate food waste collection.

He said: 'It's not about making it more difficult for everyone to sort out their rubbish, and we'll be using the evidence from this research plus the experience of the areas introducing or extending food waste collections under the funding announced today by WRAP, to help us make decisions on the next steps.'