Food waste recycling schemes one step closer
As part of its ongoing campaign to reduce waste going to landfill, Oxfordshire County Council has awarded a contract to Agrivert Ltd. for recycling food waste within the county. This means Oxfordshire district councils can begin to plan kerbside food waste collections.
On average, every household wastes 270kg of food per year, meaning Oxfordshire currently wastes over 70,000 tonnes of food. As well as being harmful to the environment, throwing food away is expensive, costing the average Oxfordshire family £610 per year.
With over 40 per cent of Oxfordshire's waste currently being recycled the county is already one of the UK's top performing, but new food waste recycling schemes will make the county even greener. Using a compost bin is still the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with peelings, tea bags and egg shells, but the new food waste recycling plants will be able to process all food waste that can’t be home composted including cooked foods, meat, dairy and plate scrapings.
Councillor Roger Belson, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for sustainable development, says: "The introduction of food waste recycling is a crucial part of Oxfordshire’s waste management strategy to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. We're keen to recycle and compost more and more. Oxfordshire has a great track record for recycling, but at the moment food waste from our fridges, cupboards and dining tables ends up in the bin. This will all be a thing of the past when our first food waste recycling schemes start this summer."
In addition to removing waste from landfill, helping to meet recycling and landfill targets and producing compost, some of the new food waste recycling plants will also be able to generate electricity. When up and running, two new anaerobic digestion plants will be able to supply enough energy to power over 10 per cent of Oxford’s homes.
The county council and all five district councils are working together through Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP) to ensure residents are provided with first class collection services.
Cllr John Tanner chair of OWP says: "It's great that we’re all working together on the next generation of recycling schemes for Oxfordshire. Not only do we hope to put Oxfordshire at the top of the recycling league but turning our old food scraps into electricity will revolutionise how we view waste."