Eight tonnes of Edinburgh’s festive food waste has ended up in landfill, rather that being turned into energy, after an error occurred over where the waste was to be stored.
A “lack of appropriate storage” at the council’s waste depot at Powderhall was the cause of the error.
The council has apologised but some are demanding a thorough investigation to ensure it is not repeated.
The council collects around 2920 tonnes of food waste every year in a city that produces around 40,000 tonnes, according to 2008 statistics.
It spends around £135,000 deposing of food waste at a recycling plant called Scottish Water Horizons in Cumbernauld, where it is used to generate renewable energy.
“Food waste is supposed to be a top priority for the council but I’m sure this is the second time it has happened in four years – that’s a lot of food waste being dumped”
According to the Edinburgh Evening News, a waste department source said: “Food waste is supposed to be a top priority for the council but I’m sure this is the second time it has happened in four years – that’s a lot of food waste being dumped.”
Green environment spokesperson Councillor Chas Booth demanded full details were provided into “what went wrong”.
He said: “Collection and transportation is trickier at this time of year but it’s not as if the council did not know the festive season was coming.
“I’d really want to remind everyone that this is very much a one-off blunder and to keep using the food waste bins in 2014.
“Food waste that is collected separately is kept away from landfill because it is better for the environment and better for council taxpayers through reduced landfill tax.
“Incidents like this are a setback but should not deflect from the zero waste message.”
Cllr Lesley Hinds said: “It was encouraging that so many people made the effort to recycle food waste last week, but the fact that much of it went to landfill anyway is extremely frustrating, and I apologise for what has happened. This was due to an error, which resulted in a lack of the appropriate storage being available.
“I will be contacting the waste department to make sure that this mistake does not happen again.”