Food waste collections resume in west Norfolk

Food waste collections resume in west Norfolk
Editor's granddaughter holding the outdoor food waste bin and kitchen caddy

With the Government confirming that England will move on to step 4 of the roadmap from 19 July 2021, the Borough Council will resume weekly food waste collections.

Cllr Paul Kunes, Cabinet member for Environment at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, wants to encourage residents to dig out their kitchen caddy and outdoor food waste bin again: “I’m delighted to see food waste collections resume as quickly as they possibly can, from day one of us moving to step 4.

“Collections were suspended when social distancing rules were introduced, and we had to limit the number of crew in our waste and recycling vehicles. From 19 July we can add an extra crew member to each collection team and reintroduce the weekly food waste collection.

“Nationally 1.3 million apples, 5.8 million potatoes, 5.9 million glasses of milk and 240 million slices of bread are thrown away every year. In west Norfolk we say please don’t chuck it in your black bin, feed it to your food caddy. Around a third of what is placed in black bins is food waste, using your food caddy is environmentally friendly, will make your black bin smell better and create more space in your black bin.”

“Before the suspension our residents were recycling 3,000 tonnes of food waste each year, I urge them to get back into the habit and please start putting their larger outdoor food waste bin out with their waste or recycling collection every week.”

Food waste from the collection goes to an anaerobic digester where it naturally produces methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity. Farmers use the material left at the end as fertiliser, which reduces the need to use chemicals on the land.

The food waste at the anaerobic digester facility is fed initially through a special machine that strips out any plastic bags and sends them off to produce electricity. Residents can line their kitchen food waste caddies with old plastic carrier bags, bread bags, fruit and veg bags and other freezer/sandwich bags can be used to line the bin or to put food waste in. This will keep their caddy and outside bin clean and hygienic - and also provide an additional use for single-use plastic bags. Alternatively caddies can be lined with newspaper.

Cllr Kunes added: “If you’ve misplaced either your kitchen caddy or outdoor food waste bin you can get a free replacement by visiting west-norfolk.gov.uk/foodwaste.”