South Gloucestershire Council is encouraging people to take more care with the disposal of their rubbish, particularly food waste, following the results of the council’s annual waste analysis.
Every year a sample of waste is taken from black bins from different areas in South Gloucestershire to understand what’s being thrown away. This helps identify priorities for the council’s waste related projects and messages for recycling.
This year the results show that 44 per cent of waste found in black bins could be recycled from home. Food waste makes up 29 per cent of the total amount of waste.
The findings reveal that residents are recycling fruit and veg peelings, eggshells, tea bags and other inedible food waste, but many are still unnecessarily putting food such as bags of potatoes, loaves of bread and jars with food left in them into the black bins.
Food waste is an important part of recycling at home and once taken away is recycled locally in Bristol by GENeco (www.geneco.uk.com). The recycling process extracts biogas which is used to generate electricity and the leftover material is used as a non-chemical fertiliser on farmland.
Cabinet Member for Communities Cllr Rachael Hunt said: “In South Gloucestershire we recycle 58.5 per cent of our household waste, placing us fifth out of 92 unitary authority councils in the UK for recycling. But there’s clearly more we can do, particularly with food waste. Our focus now must be on getting food waste out of the black bins and into recycling bins where it can be used to generate electricity and fertiliser locally.
“Recycling our food waste is easy, so we really want to see people taking more care to ensure it is placed in the correct bin.
“Recycle all of your food waste – plate scrapings, leftover pet food, food that’s off or past its best, peelings, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds. If you have a bag of veg that can’t be eaten or a mouldy loaf, you don’t need to take it out of the bag, just put it straight into your food recycling bin.”
Households are given a separate recycling container for food waste which is collected every week. A kitchen caddy is also provided to conveniently collect food waste at the location it is generated. A plastic bag, paper, or compostable bag can be used to line the kitchen caddy to make it easier to clean and empty. When the caddy is full, simply transfer the contents to the recycling bin and put it out for collection with your other recycling. The food recycling bin handle secures the lid, and the weekly collection means food waste isn’t hanging around in your black bin for two weeks at a time.
For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/recycling