Councils talking rubbish!

WHILST near neighbours Dundee City Council conduct a trial for a new food waste recycling scheme, and Edinburgh City Council launched a similar scheme in the capital, officials at Angus Council have not yet decided how they will tackle the growing pile of food waste.

Up until 2009 householders in Angus were able to re-cycle some of their food waste including vegetable peelings, banana skins, egg shells, tea-bags and coffee grounds.

However, these were banned from being recycled in the green wheelie bins which are collected fortnightly, with some local residents criticising the move which resulted in all food waste being sent to rot in landfill.

Last week Dundee City Council announced 3,000 households will take part in the year-long effort to find the best possible way to deal with food waste - leftovers or foodstuffs designed for the bin. The Dundee initiative will help shape future proposals to help reach targets to recycle and compost 50% of household waste by 2013 and 70% by 2025, whilst the City of Edinburgh Council is rolling out a door to door food waste recycling project after a successful trial and after the first distribution from the Scottish Government’s £4 million Food Waste Programme.

Food waste collected in Edinburgh will be recycled and converted in to green energy while also reducing the gas build-up caused by burying excess food in landfill sites

In Dundee householders will be provided with a kitchen caddy for food waste, compostable liners for the caddy and a sturdy, airtight, kerbside container. These are used to collect all sorts of food waste including meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, peelings, pasta, rice, cereals, bread, cakes, biscuits, eggs, eggshells, plate scrapings and leftovers, pet food, tea bags and coffee grounds.

These can be turned into nutrient rich compost and used in a variety of horticultural or agricultural applications.

The Dundee food waste will be treated in an Anaerobic Digestion Plant and turned into compost.

The process also produces biogas which can then be used to generate heat or electricity.

When asked if Angus Council had any plans for introducing a similar system, a spokesperson said: “We stopped taking food waste in green bins as from April 2009, because we could not achieve PAS 100 (quality accreditation) for our compost, using our open windrow composting system. Food waste requires to be composted in a closed system, that is, not open to the air, in order to present a barrier to scavenging vermin. Food waste disposal is being considered, however, investigations are at a very early stage and there are no current plans as to how and when we would introduce this service.”