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Hundreds of tonnes of food waste recycled in Swindon

A food waste recycling service has been extended in Swindon following a hugely successful initial trial.

Published: Tuesday, 25th February 2020
Picture of food waste being emptied into the collection vehicle

Last September Swindon became the first town in Wiltshire to trial the weekly collection of food waste for recycling. Approximately 11,000 households have been receiving the service over the last 26 weeks, which has allowed Swindon Borough Council to test collection and disposal methods.

So far, more than 380 tonnes of food waste has been collected, equivalent to 380,000 bags of sugar. The food waste is processed in Wiltshire at an anaerobic digestion plant where it is recycled into environmentally friendly fertiliser and energy to power homes.

The amount of energy produced from 380 tonnes of food waste is enough to power a home for 30 years, or 30 houses for a year.

The trial has been extended until the end of August 2020 and council officers will now carry out further analysis of the results. The Council’s Cabinet will also decide whether to roll out the food waste service to the rest of the borough.

Residents on the trial do not need to do anything differently and are encouraged to continue to use the service as they have been.

Since the start of the trial there has also been a reduction in the amount of non-recyclable waste collected from across the borough. The environmental impact of diverting waste from the Council’s Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) plant, or landfill, is significant.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “I am thrilled that so many residents have been taking part in the food waste trial, the amount of food waste we have collected has exceeded all of our expectations.

“I hope that residents continue to make the most of all of our recycling services and help us to meet government recycling targets by the end of the year.

“We are continually looking at ways we can become more sustainable and reduce the amount of waste we are producing and we always encourage residents to do the same.”

The Council is asking residents on the trial to provide feedback on their experience of the food waste service via a short online survey that will be open until Tuesday, 31 March. The survey is available at: www.swindon.gov.uk/foodwaste

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