No change to Arun household waste collections is supported

Bin collections will remain the same in Arun despite the success of an ongoing food waste collection trial and missed recycling targets.

Last week, Arun District Council’s Policy and Finance Committee voted to extend its current cleansing contract with Biffa from February 2023.

This means weekly bin collections will continue for the foreseeable future.

But the committee agreed that food waste collections would only be introduced once they are made compulsory by government – a measure included in the new Environment Act.

Food waste caddies where separate collections are being trialled in Littlehampton

At this point, residents will receive food caddies and 240 litre bins as well as fortnightly residual collections.

Some councillors argued that introducing food waste collections too soon could see ADC miss out on ‘new burdens funding’ from the government – funding that would help with the cost of mandatory food waste collections.

This is despite both a successful food waste collection trial and missed recycling targets in the district.

More than 1,300 Littlehampton households are taking part in the trial which has been extended until February 2023.

Some councillors expressed frustration that food waste collections may not be rolled out next year even though recycling rates in the district have remained ‘static’ for three years.

Arun recycled 42 per cent of its waste as of March, but its target is 50 per cent. Government targets require 55 per cent recycling rates by 2025 and 60 per cent by 2030.

Opposition leader James Walsh (LDem, Beach) said recycling rates had ‘stagnated for far too long’, while Isabel Thurston (Green, Barnham) likened delaying food waste collections to ‘actively tarnishing the district’s green credentials’.

Tony Dixon (Ind, Aldwick East) noted public ‘cynicism’ around recycling as there is a perception that it ends up in landfill or is ‘shipped abroad’.

“We need to show the public what happens to the waste,” he said.

But Alison Cooper (Con, Rustington East) said: “One of the things I learnt was that only ten per cent of what isn’t recycled is currently going to landfill.

“Everything else is either recycled, made into something else, or made into green energy – it sounds much worse than it is.”

An extension of the current Biffa contract will be subject to approval by the full council on July 13.