20th January 2020

Bin sticker alert to recycle food waste

Around 125,000 households in Somerset are becoming part of a new effort to increase food waste recycling and cut the levels going to landfill.

SWP food waste sticker 05Each home is getting a warning sticker on their rubbish bin to remind them that all food waste – fresh or “off”, raw or cooked, meat or fish, fruit or veg, pasta or cereal – should be recycled.

After successful trials in Street and Wellington, 115,000 homes in Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and in and around Chard and Ilminster in South Somerset have already got their stickers.

That simple step has been helping boost food waste recycling by up to 20%, saving tens of thousands of pounds each year.

Now every home in Mendip, West Somerset and the remaining areas of South Somerset are being visited to add the sticker that warns against costly and polluting landfill.

It costs more than £100 a tonne to send food waste to landfill, where it decays over decades and produces the polluting greenhouse gas methane. Recycling food waste is better and cheaper.

At Somerset’s anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater, billions of “burping bacteria” produce a biogas to generate electricity for the national grid, leaving nutrient-rich compost for local farmers.

A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesperson said:

“Big savings and environmental benefits can be made from recycling more food waste.

“Most people recycle food, but too much is still being landfilled. Somerset’s annual landfill bill is more than £12 million, with food waste the heaviest single recyclable material in refuse bins.”

Anyone needing food waste or other recycling containers should contact their district council customer services or order them online at: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/collections/containers/order.