How Will Nottingham’s Food Waste Scheme Work?

Charlotte Bowers

A year-long food waste collection trial has just been launched for more than 3,000 homes in Nottingham. How will it work? What are the benefits of this? And why has it been created?

Nottingham City Council have recently enforced a food waste collection trial in the Berridge Ward area that has aimed to provide this service to approximately 3,500 houses in the first week of March. According to Nottingham City Council, up to 37% of household waste (in weight) is food waste, an astonishing amount that could be put into a food waste bin! To avoid this much waste, and make use from the leftover food, the city council will be collecting food waste to support their aim of becoming carbon neutral. To help “turn food waste from a problem into a resource”, Nottingham City Council plan to use the collected food waste and turn it into electricity and fertiliser for farming at a local Anaerobic Digestion site. By using these food waste bins, it also saves room in the general household waste bin for things that cannot be recycled.

This project is intended to support Nottingham’s efforts to increase recycling rates. The city’s recycling rate had decreased in October 2022 to 23.9% of household waste, down from 27% in 2019. These figures are concerning, considering the government’s target for 2020 was to recycle 50% of household waste in England, yet as a country the recycling rate was 44%. This indicates that as a whole, Nottingham is significantly worse at recycling in comparison to the country in total. Therefore, this food waste project may improve the recycling rates because residents are being encouraged to separate household waste into another bin so that the food can be used for other purposes.

Nottingham is significantly worse at recycling in comparison to the country in total

Those who have their own food compost in their garden may continue to use it for vegetables, fruit, coffee grounds and tea bags. Although, they can place non-compostable foods in their food waste bin. All households involved in this trial can place the following foods in the bin: fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, rice, pasta, bread, dairy, eggs and eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds. All these every-day foods can be put to a much better use than landfill, and by using the food for fertilisers and energy it benefits everyone!

The food waste will be collected on the same day as household waste and recycling bins, and the houses who have been informed of this project have been asked to leave the food waste bin next to the other bins on the bin collection days. The houses taking part in this trial will be provided with a large bin (23 litres) to place outside for collection, and an indoor bin holding 7 litres of food waste. The houses involved have been asked not to use bin liners (unless they are compostable) because Nottingham City Council are trying to understand how bin liners would affect the quality and amount of food waste collected.

These efforts are intended to improve the city’s recycling rates and hopefully after this year-long trial, the results will prove successful and encourage this action to continue!

Charlotte Bowers

Featured Photo by @sigmund from UnSplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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