Here’s when a food waste collection trial could start in Mid Sussex

Plans to trial run a food waste collection service in Mid Sussex are to be discussed by district councillors.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 12:05 pm
Example of a food waste caddy

The pilot scheme, for around 3,000 homes, was put on hold during the pandemic but will be debated at a scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday (November 17), with a recommendation to go-ahead expected to be sent to the cabinet.

Leader Jonathan Ash-Edwards said: “If the proposals are supported by councillors, the trial will begin in the spring once the council’s waste collection contractors have made changes to the collection vehicles.

Residents will be informed if their collection round has been selected to take part in the trial.”

The trial run will enable the council to gather evidence and feedback from residents to inform the future development of the service.

The UK throws away a huge amount of food.

In 2018, the sustainability charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), said the UK was responsible for 9.52 million tonnes of food waste – 70 per cent of which would have been edible.

This was the equivalent of chucking out 15 billion meals – ‘enough to feed the entire UK population three meals a day for 11 weeks’.

Mr Ash-Edwards said food waste was by far the biggest element in the black bins, making up more than 40 per cent of its contents by weight.

John Belsey, cabinet member for environment & service delivery, said collecting and recycling the food waste was ‘the single biggest thing we can do to increase recycling rates and reduce the environmental impact of waste’.

He added: “Across the UK, not putting food into waste would have the same positive environmental impact as taking one in four cars off UK roads.

“We know that residents are keen to recycle food waste and I look forward to the pilot being a success”.

Mr Ash-Edwards said the pilot scheme was put together on the back of feedback from residents who were keen to see the collection introduced.

He added: “Mid Sussex residents work extremely hard to recycle and we know that recycling rates need to increase further.

“This would be the largest and most comprehensive pilot of a food waste collection service in West Sussex and will help us work with the county council, who are the disposal authority, to develop the business case for a full roll out across Mid Sussex.”

The news was welcomed by Liberal Democrat leader Alison Bennett – but she felt the pilot scheme was ‘too slow and too limited’.

She added: “Those who wont be lucky enough to be part of the trial will be waiting another two and half years before they can hope to reduce the waste food that they are sending to landfill.”

Pointing out that authorities in many other counties already had food waste collections, she added: “The government estimates that half of all local authorities in England already have a food waste collection service, and we know authorities in neighbouring Surrey have had a food waste collection service for over a decade.

“The question then, is why in West Sussex has it taken so long for food waste collection to be rolled out?”