May 17, 2022

UK council expands food waste recycling pilot

A UK council is expanding its food waste recycling pilot to more homes this spring.

North East Lincolnshire Council began collecting food waste weekly on one of its bin rounds in April 2021. Households in the pilot area were provided with a lockable outdoor bin and a small kitchen trolley to collect waste , which are then sent to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, to generate energy.

The pilot area includes 4,680 homes in five neighborhoods and includes a mix of property types in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods. Now the council is adding an additional 900 households to the pilot in Sydney Sussex, Yarborough, Humberston and Park wards.

Settlement rates (the number of bins presented on a collection) for the North East Lincolnshire pilot area are among the highest in the country, at around 53%. On average, each household recycles 3.26 kg of food waste per week, which otherwise would have been thrown in its household waste bin.

Households in North East Lincolnshire recycled more than ever in 2021. In the first full year since households started using the new food bins, recycling rates increased by more than 4%.

“I am grateful to everyone involved in the food waste pilot project for recycling as much as they can,” said Councilor Stewart Swinburn, environment and transportation portfolio holder. “I urge all households that now receive their bins to give it a try and see the difference it makes.

“Last year we surveyed participants and found that households were overwhelmingly supportive of the program. district in the years to come.

The government has shared plans for all councils in England to collect food waste separately from around 2025. Currently, food waste accounts for about a third of the average household waste bin and could be recycled to generate biogas and renewable energy.

Recently, Kevin Quigley, commercial director of UK food waste recycler Warrens Group, urged local authorities and the farming industry to “team up” to ease emerging pressures surrounding fertilizer demand by recycling more food waste.

Fertilizer prices in the UK are rising rapidly due to rising gas prices. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that Russia is the world’s largest exporter of synthetic fertilisers, supplying more than a fifth of urea, a key fertilizer used in the UK. AD generates biofertilizer as a by-product in the resulting digestate, which is composed of nitrogen, phosphate and potash – nutrient rich and easily absorbed by crops.