A scheme by Denbighshire County Council to trial microchips on food waste caddies has launched this week (12 Nov).
The council will fit microchips to its food waste caddies in a bid to increase the amount of food recycled.
Residents whose data shows they are using their bins less frequently, or incorrectly, will be visited by Denbighshire County Council officials.
This is a ground-breaking project and we will be following the results of this initiative with great interest, to see whether it makes a difference to recycling rates and the public’s response to the scheme
The trial, a first of its kind in the UK, is set to be launched on November 11 and will involve four areas in parts of Corwen, Ruthin, Rhyl and Prestatyn – each with up to 200 households.
The aim is to increase the amount of food waste being recycled to enable the Welsh council to meet its statutory target of 64% this year.
The food waste collected by Denbighshire is taken to an anaerobic composting facility near St Asaph and turned into a valuable soil fertilizer that is used by North Wales farmers.
The process also produces green energy for around 2, 000 homes.
The information collected from the trial will inform the Council which properties have put out their caddy and which ones have not.
It will help the Council to gather monitoring data quickly and efficiently so it is able to visit people who are not using the orange caddy system over long periods and offer support to encourage them to recycle.
The Council already collects this information manually but it is time consuming and releasing this time would allow staff to talk to people who need more support to recycle, it says.
The data we get manually can also be inaccurate as it is not always possible to know which house a caddy belongs to.
The Council is working with Schaefer, who have developed the software and have offered the trial free of charge so the council can explore the “benefits of the new system” and gain an understanding of feedback from residents, as well as see how well the software works.
If the system helps increase recycling rates the council will consider expanding the trial areas in January.
Tony Ward, Denbighshire’s Head of Highways, Transportation and Environment, said: “Despite people in Denbighshire being amongst the highest recyclers in the UK, a quarter of the waste we throw away in our black bins is food waste. To hit our recycling targets set by Welsh Government we need to make sure all our food waste recycled and not wasted.
“Over the next 6 months we are launching a range of projects aimed at getting people to recycle food waste for the first time, as well as encouraging active recyclers to recycle even more.
“This is a ground-breaking project and we will be following the results of this initiative with great interest, to see whether it makes a difference to recycling rates and the public’s response to the scheme”.