Cherwell pioneers food waste collection
With its recycling rate at 48% Cherwell District Council is one of the country's top recycling councils. Aiming to take that rate to 50%, the council is poised to take the next recycling step by pioneering food waste collection for composting.
At its meeting on Monday (6 October) Cherwell District Council's Executive agreed to pilot a food waste collection scheme and to roll it out across the district when the composting equipment is ready to do so.
Composting food waste requires a specialised process, known as "in vessel composting" which is currently not available within an environmentally friendly distance from the district. But Oxfordshire County Council is looking to provide this within the county in 2009.
The council's portfolio holder for community, health and environment, Councillor George Reynolds, said: "Cherwell is committed to reducing the amount of food waste that is dumped in landfill. That's why we want to roll out food waste composting as soon as suitable in vessel composting is available.
"But it's important that we take into account the environmental cost of what we do. We've always encouraged people to compost food at home. But on an industrial level, a mix of food and garden waste needs to be composted in a different way. And we need a centre to be built near enough for the benefits of extra recycling to be greater than the cost to the environment of transporting the material to it. At the moment there isn’t a centre near enough. When there is, we will press on and look to roll the scheme out district-wide."