Twenty-eight percent by weight of the residual waste collected by Falkirk Council is still food waste, the council has revealed, following its move to three-weekly collections of residual waste.
The council released figures following the move from fortnightly to three-weekly residual collections, which show half of material presented for residual waste collection could be recycled.
The authority was the first in the UK to make the move to three-weekly collections for residual waste after fully rolling out the service in March, with more than 25,000 properties across three areas being included.
The council will introduce four-weekly collections in 2016
The new service has led to a reduction of around 400 tonnes of material sent to landfill per month compared to same period prior to the change.
Robin Baird, Falkirk Council – “The move to a three weekly will take us to 60 percent recycling, or just below, so we absolutely consider it a success”
During the pilot, on average, the amount of waste discarded by households reduced by two kilogrammes per week and saw an increase in food waste tonnage recycled increase by as much as 75%.
The council is on course to prevent 9,000 tonnes of landfill material being diverted from landfill, representing a saving of £385k a year in Landfill Tax.
The council’s waste strategy co-ordinator, Robin Baird, however, said at east 28 percent by weight of the residual bin is still food waste.
Robin Baird, waste strategy co-ordinator told CIWM Journal Online: “The move to a three weekly will take us to 60 percent recycling, or just below, so we absolutely consider it a success.
“It has pushed us forward, but it comes back to the question of in the current climate: can we afford to pay twice for the one thing? We pay for a weekly food waste collection, and yet 28 percent by weight of the residual bin is still food waste. So we’re paying twice and that is an unsustainable situation.
“Three-weekly has been going a year in some areas, so that would suggest that where were are is where it’s roughly going to be. The four-weekly should see a change to that. But in addition to that the council will be implementing a collection for nappies and fortnightly.”
“With the four weekly collection of residual waste people will be more inclined to look at the recycling services that collected frequently. So, for example, would you make a choice to leave food waste in a residual bin for four weeks or would you use the weekly service?
“It’s important to stress that it isn’t a four-weekly service we’ll deliver. We’ll be collecting food waste weekly, and it’s about people making he appropriate decisions when presenting material for collection.”
“We’re moving on from people being able to make whatever choice they want because of the sheer cost of providing these collections and the cost of landfill. People need to make the appropriate choice.”