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Cabinet to discuss borough-wide food waste collection service

Councillors will decide next week whether to roll out a food waste recycling service across the entire borough.

Published: Tuesday, 23rd June 2020
Picture of food waste being emptied into the collection vehicle

If the Council’s Cabinet agrees to the proposal at its meeting next Wednesday (1 July), Swindon will see the food waste collection, which is currently being trialled by 11,000 households, extended to all 97,000 households in the borough on a permanent basis.

Providing the proposal is given the green light, officers will be able to start planning how and when the food waste service is delivered to residents.

The proposal is part of wider ambitions to increase recycling and reduce waste across Swindon as set out in the Council’s Waste Strategy.

It is estimated that the introduction of a food waste collection in Swindon could help to increase the town’s current recycling rate of 40 per cent, by four per cent. The increase will contribute towards meeting the Government’s 60 per cent recycling target by 2030.

Since the food waste trial began in September 2019, around 735 tonnes of food waste has been collected, equivalent to 735,000 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, which is used to power homes.

The environmental impact of diverting food waste from the Council’s Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) plant, or landfill, is significant and is helping to contribute towards a greener future for Swindon.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Maintenance and Waste Services, said: “I am thrilled that the food waste trial has been a resounding success. We have received really positive feedback from residents who have said it has been a welcome addition to our standard waste and recycling service.

“We are continually exploring ways we can become more sustainable and meet the Government’s ambitious recycling targets. I look forward to working with my cabinet colleagues to improve our waste and recycling services for our residents.”

The Council’s July Cabinet meeting starts at 6pm on Wednesday, 1 July.

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