Food waste collections could be rolled out across West Sussex under Government strategy

Separate weekly food waste collections could be rolled out across West Sussex as part of measures in a new Government strategy.

A food waste caddy used in another part of the country
A food waste caddy used in another part of the country

Analysis carried out in 2017 showed that 30 per cent of residual black bag waste in West Sussex is food waste.

As a result the West Sussex Waste Partnership (WSWP) launched a campaign to reduce the amount of food waste thrown away by residents.

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It is also looking to carry out trials of separate food waste collections.

The trials are due to start from September 2019 and the partnership is hopeful of securing at least two volunteers from among its council partners.

Meanwhile the Government’s new resources and waste strategy released on Tuesday (December 18) includes plans to consult on a nationwide rollout of food waste collections.

According to the strategy: “Whilst some local authorities in England operate food waste recycling schemes, the majority of food waste ends up in residual waste. Extending separate food waste collections to more households should increase recycling and composting rates by about five percentage points over current levels, and divert waste from incineration or landfill.”

The Government is also due to consult on plans to make disposing of garden waste free.

All West Sussex district and borough councils charge to collect green waste, with some of the annual charges among the most expensive across the country.

In general the strategy says it ‘seeks to redress the balance in favour of the natural world’ by maximising the value of the resources people use and minimising the waste the country creates.

Mid Sussex District Council said it welcomed the ambition and intent behind the Government’s strategy but noted the real detail on what it might mean for residents and councils will depend on the outcomes of consultations in 2019.

Gary Marsh, MSDC’s cabinet member for service delivery, said: “Mid Sussex District Council is keen to work with Government on developing future strategies for capturing food and garden waste.

“The council’s current garden waste collection service is extremely popular with residents, with 19,000 people subscribing to the service; and consequently, the amount of garden waste found in our black bins in this area is extremely low.

“The council firmly believes that those without a garden, or who choose to manage their garden waste in a different way should not be required to subsidise the garden waste service through their council tax, and therefore at the moment, in this area, garden waste is an opt-in subscription service.”

Meanwhile Philip Circus, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for waste, recycling and cleansing added: “If the Government is serious about the provision of free green waste collections, it will have to consider providing a level of financial support to councils to facilitate this.”

A spokesman for Arun District Council said: “Any strategy which aims to reduce climate change, safeguard resources and reduce what we, as a society throw away should be welcomed. It is important to note however that the Governments Waste & Resources Strategy is not yet finalised and further consultation is planned on key issues. Therefore, Arun District Council will respond to this consultation accordingly and await further clarity before considering its own policy on this matter.”

A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “The report was only released this week, and so we are currently reviewing the contents of the report, including the funding arrangements that support these guidelines. This is so we can ascertain the impact and timescales that accompany each of the recommendations”

A spokesman for Adur and Worthing councils said: “Obviously we have just received outline details of the proposals but in general we welcome any commitment to increase measures to combat climate change, safeguard resources and reduce plastic in our seas and oceans. We welcome recognition that both public and private sector and indeed individuals have a part to play in this fight.

“Under our SustainableAW programme Adur and Worthing Councils have committed to a range of measures including increasing our recycling rates, reducing single use plastics, improving our cycling and walking infrastructure and helping residents save on water bills.

“Obviously we await more detail on the proposals and particularly how some of this programme might be funded given ever decreasing central government grants to local authorities but ever increasing demand for local public services.

“Our initial view would be that, while welcoming many of these new proposals, those which have negative financial implications for already under-pressure local councils should be funded by the proposer, in this case central government.”

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said: “Crawley Borough Council welcomes the ambition and intent behind the Government’s resources and waste strategy that was published yesterday.

“We are currently reviewing its contents so that we can ascertain the impact and timescales that accompany each of the recommendations, along with the funding arrangements that will support them. We do, however, note that the real detail on what this might mean for residents and councils will depend on the outcome of consultations to be undertaken early in 2019.”