A new weekly food waste collection one step closer for Arun

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Around £3 million for new waste collection services has been green lit by Arun District Council.

The council’s environment committee at its meeting on Tuesday, March 19, agreed to offer a new weekly food waste collection service by February 1, 2026.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will grant the council £1.67 million for new vehicles and food waste bins, whilst £1.2 million will be secured through borrowing to fund new 180 litre residual waste bins, according to a report to the committee.

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According to the report, day-to-day costs to the council of the new service are expected to be £1.25 million, with DEFRA expected to fund any extra costs of the service.

Arun District Council binArun District Council bin
Arun District Council bin

The new food waste service will include a five litre bin inside, and a 23 litre bin outside to be collected weekly, following the 1-2-3 trial food waste collection in Littlehampton which started in 2021.

The report says the new residual waste bins, used for non-recyclable waste, will be collected fortnightly instead of weekly, and is hoped to ‘standardise’ rubbish collection in Arun.

Phillippa Bower (Con, East Preston) said she was ‘concerned’ about borrowing further money for new bins and that it would be ‘fiscally irresponsible’, saying the council’s waste collection has been going ‘perfectly well’ for years.

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The council’s Group Head of Finance Antony Baden said the council’s proportion of borrowing to income with the borrowing would still be ‘quite low’, adding that future savings made could potentially pay for the bins instead.

Terry Penhaligon, a consultant for the council, said the annual potential savings ‘rack up quite substantially’, with the council expecting to save £500,000 a year from the changes.

Through changes to the Environment Act 2021 by national government, councils responsible for waste collection will need to introduce food waste collection services by April 1, 2026.

The council voted in 2022 not to introduce food waste collection and updated recycling services, with the then Conservative administration saying it was waiting for ‘new burdens funding’ from DEFRA for the service once legislation was changed.

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The DEFRA grant and extra borrowing will have to be approved by the policy and finance committee and then by full council, before being added to the 2025/26 budget.

New kerbside coffee pod, textiles and battery collection services will also be introduced by February by the council.