Council urged to start food waste recycling
Hastings Green Party has launched a Change petition calling for Hastings Borough Council to add food waste to their list of collectible and recyclable materials. Why? The move would cut down on the amount of waste material sent to landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfilled food waste, provide a useful source of compost and potentially – via anaerobic digestion – a source of energy, plus reduce mess on our streets caused by gulls tearing open rubbish bags containing food. HOT’s Zelly Restorick writes.
“We welcome the fact that over the past few years, Hastings Council has greatly increased the types of waste that can be recycled by local residents,” said Hastings Green Party spokesperson Judy Scott. “Now we’re asking them to go further, to look at recycling food waste, in order to reduce both the mess on our streets and the greenhouse gas emissions caused by putting food waste into landfill. We know from our survey (of Old Town residents) that this is a key concern of local people – and encourage residents to sign our petition.”
Ideally, we’d all simply cut down on the amount of food we waste within our homes, as well as in businesses, hospitality, food manufacturing and the retail and wholesale sectors. Just good common sense.
‘If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.’
Love Food, Hate Waste website.
Currently in the UK, we clearly don’t live in an ideal world. According to studies carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP: see link below for PDF), published in 2013 and 2016, “the estimated annual food waste arising within UK households, hospitality and food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors is around 10 million tonnes, 60% of which could have been avoided. This has a value of over £17 billion a year, and is associated with around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Around 85% (by weight) of the avoidable food waste arises in households and food manufacture.”
Some councils are already tackling this issue. In 2011, figures by WRAP stated that 47% of local authorities provided food waste collection and recycling services, including Lewes District Council, which started recycling food waste in 2013. (This website link explains what food can and cannot be collected, how it’s done, why LDC think it’s a good idea and what happens to the recycled food waste.)
‘Evidence has shown that when schemes such as this are in place, an average family can save £50 per month when they can see what they are wasting and change their habits.’ Lewes District Council.
‘For an average family with children, the figure is £700 per annum.’ Love Food, Hate Waste.
Karen Simnett and Sarah Macbeth of Transition Town Hastings said: “Transition Town Hastings is in full support of this campaign. Food waste has long been a concern for us and our members and it frequently comes up for discussion in our meetings and public events. So many places in the UK have an effective food collection system in place and it’s about time Hastings and neighbouring towns did too. Food waste is a perfectly good resource that should be utilised; as well as creating compost, it can also be used to generate energy, using anaerobic digestion*. We urge everyone to sign this petition!”
* More information about anaerobic digestion from ReFood website.
Sign the waste food collection and recycling petition here.
Other useful links:
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