Residents asked not to mix food and green waste

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Residents in Wyre, Fylde, Chorley and Lancaster are being asked to stop mixing food waste with green waste from April 2016 due to changes being made to the way it is processed.

The changes will come into effect in Preston from 1 May 2016.

Food waste, which includes raw vegetable peelings, tea bags and fruit, should now be added to your household waste instead or, alternatively, raw vegetables, fruit and peelings can be composted at home in a compost bin.

Lancashire County Council currently uses an indoor composting system to treat mixed green (garden) waste and food waste, where a process takes place at a controlled temperature to kill any bacteria in the food. This is vital to control the potential spread of disease like foot and mouth.

However, food waste accounts for only around 1% of the mixed food and green waste collected from households, and there are more cost-effective options available to deal with green waste if the food waste is removed.

The indoor facilities are therefore closing and Lancashire County Council will save money by taking your garden waste to an outdoor composting facility.

County Councillor Clare Pritchard, Lancashire County Council lead member for waste, said: "The very severe financial situation facing the county council means we need to take advantage of more cost-effective ways to process some types of waste.

"Our current processing facilities were designed to prevent any organic waste, including combined green garden waste and food waste, from being landfilled. Sharp annual increases in landfill tax at the time the facilities were established meant it would cost vastly more to continue landfilling organic waste. These increases have since slowed, and other incentives to curtail the landfill of organics have now stopped.

"People are throwing far less food away now, meaning the amount of food in our waste has greatly declined, leaving us with a process which is costly in order to safely compost the tiny amount (1%) of food waste that is usually mixed with garden waste.

"We will continue to compost green waste, but at cheaper, outdoor facilities. In order to allow us to do this it's vital that people no longer put their food waste in the garden waste bin. Other recycling services remain unchanged and we continue to prioritise recycling and reuse."

If you would like to begin composting at home, you can get a good deal on a bin here.

Tagged as: Waste and Recycling

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