Oxfordshire starts recycling food waste
This week (Monday 8 June) saw South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) become the first authority within the county to start collecting food waste for recycling.
South Oxfordshire residents have a whole new recycling and waste collection accepting more materials than ever before, but it’s the food waste recycling that’s the most revolutionary.
Separate weekly collections of all raw and cooked food, including meat, fish and dairy products now get taken to special recycling plants to be turned into fertiliser and generate electricity.
Cllr David Dodds at SODC enthuses about their new recycling scheme: “Council staff and contractors have been working really hard behind the scenes over the past few months in preparation for the launch of our fantastic new recycling scheme: it’s great to see the first collections taking place. With food waste added to an even longer list of materials that can now be recycled, we’re sure that people will notice how much less waste they’ll be putting in their non-recyclable bin.”
The new food waste recycling facilities are being provided by Oxfordshire County Council and when running on full they’ll be able to generate enough power for 10% of Oxford’s homes.
Acting head of waste management at Oxfordshire County Council is Carolyn Baxter. She says: “With new food waste recycling schemes starting, we’re hoping to smash Oxfordshire’s already impressive 43% recycling rate. By the end of 2010 we hope to be one of the foremost recycling counties in the UK. What’s even more impressive is the fact that we’ll be generating green electricity from waste that otherwise would have ended up in landfill.”
South Oxfordshire is leading the way, but the rest of the district councils across the county will be following their lead. SODC’s contract is shared with the Vale of White Horse District Council who will have an identical service staring October 2010. Working through Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP), councils will be learning from each other to ensure residents are provided with the best possible service. The partnership is helping SODC’s scheme by funding biodegradable bags. A roll of bags has been given free to each household for residents to wrap their food waste in.
Chair of OWP Cllr John Tanner, is hugely supportive of food waste recycling initiatives. “It’s good that all Oxfordshire councils are working together to deliver food waste collection: the next step in the recycling revolution” says John. “Sharing knowledge, experiences and finances means first class services for the taxpayer. In Oxford City we will roll out food waste collections later this year”.
Cllr George Reynolds is the Cherwell District Council member with responsibility for introducing food waste recycling to the north of the county. He says: ““It really is an exciting time to be working with rubbish! Cherwell residents have a great history of recycling and hope they’ll embrace their new food waste scheme when we start to introduce it."
Details of the new South Oxon scheme can be found at www.morerecycling.co.uk.