Real progress is being made to increase food recycling in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire people are recycling more home food waste than ever before – and, if agreed next week, the search will start for a company to take on the recycling of this waste into the future.
Since 2008, food waste recycling has increased from zero to a predicted 23,000 tonnes this year. Although more food waste is being recycled the county’s black bin’ residual waste still contains around 25% food waste which could be collected and recycled.
All six district councils in the county provide weekly door-to-door food waste collection service for their residents and it is the county council’s job to make arrangements to recycle this food waste.
The technologies available for recycling food waste are anaerobic digestion (AD) and In Vessel Composting (IVC). AD is the most environmentally sustainable method producing biogas which can be fed in to the gas distribution network. AD also produces rich organic slurry which can be used as a fertiliser while IVC produces compost which is used as a soil conditioner.
The generation of biogas is sustainable and can replace natural gas – cutting CO2 production, and the use of organic slurry and compost reduces the need for manufactured fertilisers.
The county council will continue to support and incentivise district councils to collect food waste through a payment scheme agreed last year.
Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for waste said: “Separate collection and recycling of household food waste makes an important contribution to lowering the county’s carbon footprint and will help us to achieve our ambition of a carbon neutral county by 2050.
“We’ve made great progress in the county. Back in 2008, almost all food waste went into landfill, now, thanks to the district councils, around 23,000 tonnes will be recycled this year.
“There is still more to do and I would encourage all households to use their food waste recycling service to reduce the amount of residual, ‘black bin’ waste we produce and help to boost the environment.”
Papers for the cabinet meeting can be viewed online here.