Collecting food waste could cost up to £1.8million a year, Horsham councillors told

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Food waste
The cost of collecting food waste has been estimated to be up to £1.8m per year, Horsham district councillors have been told.

The figure was shared during a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday (November 23) by Jay Mercer, cabinet member for environmental health, recycling & waste.

In October, the government announced its recycling reforms, aimed to make the process simpler and avoid people needing what it called an ‘excessive number of bins’.

The reforms are due to come into effect in March 2026.

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While Mr Mercer told the meeting that the council would have no problems when it came to dry waste, there were a couple of issues when it came to the collection of food waste.

He said: “We’re in a good position in that we’ve already started our work to plan and prepare for the logistics of introducing the service – but there are many complexities and unknowns.

“The biggest of these is that the government has given no indication as to how much financial support – both capital and revenue – they will provide.”

The second issue centred around the manufacture of the vehicles which would be needed and the caddies in which residents would place their food waste.

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Both would have to be manufactured by the same suppliers for the entire country.

Mr Mercer said: “To give a scale of the challenge, there are currently 261 waste collection authorities in England that do not collect food waste. There are 115 that do.”

He told the meeting that he would update the council when more information was available – but that the cost of the new service would be in the region of £1.8m per year.

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