Mid Sussex food waste collection trial given the go ahead
Around 3,000 households in three areas are set to take part in the pilot, which will see food waste and absorbent hygiene products collected separately every week.
But Mid Sussex District Council would also reduce general waste collections for these households from fortnightly to once every three weeks.
Blue-topped recycling bins and the paid-for green waste bins would continue to be emptied every two weeks.
The pilot is due to start in April and would be the first n West Sussex to trial separate food waste collections.
If successful they would be rolled out to the rest of the district.
The project was given the go ahead by Mid Sussex cabinet members on Monday night (February 10).
The new collection model being piloted is called the 1-2-3+ system. This is broken down as:
1 Weekly food waste collections (and opt-in weekly absorbent hygiene product collections e.g. nappies and incontinence waste)
2 Fortnightly (commingled) dry recycling collections
3 Three-weekly residual waste collections
+ Fortnightly opt-in subscription garden waste service.
It will be run in partnership with West Sussex County Council.
Work carried out in Mid Sussex showed that food waste is by far the biggest element in general household waste bins, constituting more than 41 per cent of contents by weight.
John Belsey, cabinet member for environment and service delivery, said: “From the feedback we have received this is a great opportunity for us as a council on a cost-neutral basis to trial something which will be very good for our recycling and for West Sussex.”
He explained how alongside a drive to increase recycling rates they would likely be required by Government to soon introduce separate food waste collections anyway.
He added: “I think residents would welcome the opportunity to play their part in increasing recycling in Mid Sussex.”
Jonathan Ash-Edwards, leader of the district council, said: “I hope it will be a success and we are hoping to be able to roll it out if the pilot is successful.”
Stephen Hillier, cabinet member for economic growth, welcomed the partnership working with the county council.
But he also asked what would happen for residents whose black general bins were ‘full to overflowing’ during the pilot.
He said: “It may be they are not recycling enough, but if nothing is done we are going to get fly tipping and waste on the streets.”
Officers explained since this was a trial more personalised support would be available to households to help them reduce the amount they are throwing away into their black bin.
After the meeting, Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment at WSCC, said: “This is the first trial of its type to be considered in West Sussex. Our aim would be to gain valuable feedback from residents, enabling a full review before potentially re-shaping and enhancing rubbish and recycling collections for the future.”
Cllr Belsey added: “When food waste is collected separately, an anaerobic digester can use the gas that is produced when the food breaks down to generate energy and turn the left-over material into a soil fertiliser.
“With weekly food waste and absorbent hygiene product collections, general rubbish bins will be much less full.”
What do you think of the trial? Email your thought to our letters page.