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Sheffield to host first food waste trial

The pilot scheme will allow 8,000 households to dispose of food waste separately for composting.

City centre panorama 2
Rachel Rae Photography

8,000 households in Sheffield will take part in a new trial to dispose of food waste separately from the rest of their rubbish.

The 12-week trial across several areas of the city will test how a collection service works in practice, with the aim of launching a permanent collection in the future.

All households in the trial areas will receive a 23 litre food waste bin for outside, a 5 litre caddy for inside, and 52 recycled and biodegradable liner bags. The service will be operated by Veolia.

Labour councillors on Waste and Street Scene policy commitee

Labour councillors on Waste and Street Scene policy commitee.

"A new duty on councils to introduce a separate food waste collection service is due to come into effect in 2024", said deputy chair of the Waste and Street Scene Committee Cllr Mike Chaplin.

"The council is keen to secure additional funding from government for the permanent city-wide waste collection service. In the meantime, we are taking an active approach to planning for the changes because the introduction of food waste collections across the city will not be without its challenges."

In 2019, sampling by the council found that food waste made up an average of 33% of Sheffield's black bin collections.

New legislation that passed into law in November means that all councils will soon have to collect food waste separately from every household at least once a week.

Food waste will quickly biodegrade and can then be used as compost, which is better for the environment than burning it or adding it to landfill.

Chaplin said they would have liked to have already brought in a permanent scheme, but constant cuts to council budgets since 2010 means that they will have to wait for new funding to become available.

“The government won’t fund any local authority that already has a scheme in place,” he said. “So by implementing this trial now we are taking preparatory steps for a full city-wide scheme, but without having to forego the funding for it.”

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