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More homes can now recycle their food waste

3:40 pm, Monday, 21st March 2022 - 8 months ago

Bins, waste and recycling

North East Lincolnshire Council is expanding its food waste recycling pilot to more homes this Spring.

The Council started collecting food waste every week on one of its bin rounds last April.

Households in the pilot area received a lockable outdoor bin and a small caddy for their kitchen.

The pilot area includes 4,680 homes in five wards and includes a mix of different property types and urban, suburban and rural neighbourhoods.

Now, the Council is adding another 900 households to the pilot in Sydney Sussex, Yarborough, Humberston and Park wards. All households taking part have been written to and are now receiving their bins and instruction booklet.

Set out rates (the number of bins presented on a collection) for North East Lincolnshire’s pilot are among the highest in the country at around 53 per cent. On average, each household is recycling 3.26kg of food waste per week, which otherwise they would have put in their household waste bin.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, said:

“I’m grateful to everyone taking part in the food waste pilot for recycling as much as they can.

“I urge all those households who are now receiving their food waste bins to give it a go and see the difference it makes.

“Last year, we surveyed those taking part and found households to be overwhelmingly supportive of the scheme.

“We wrote to about 4,680 households and received 1,059 responses. Eighty-nine per cent said they recycled food waste every week and 79 per cent said that recycling was important to them.

“Households gave us a lot of valuable feedback about the pilot and this will help us plan how we might roll out the service across the borough in the coming years.”

The Government has indicated it wants all councils in England to collect food waste separately from about 2025.

Food waste makes up about a third of the average household waste bin and could be recycled.

It is taken to a special processing plant where it is used to generate energy and produce a fertiliser to grow crops. The bin liners are separated during this process and sent to an energy from waste plant.

Separating food waste from other rubbish means household waste bins are cleaner and don’t smell as much.

Recycling rates increasing

Households in North East Lincolnshire recycled more than ever in 2021. In the first full year since households started using the new bins, recycling rates rose by more than four per cent.

In 2020, the recycling rate was 35.08 per cent. In 2021, it was 39.14 per cent. In the same period, the amount of domestic waste collected has dropped by more than 3,000 tonnes.

Increased recycling saves energy and helps us transform existing items into something new.

Household waste that can’t be recycled is used to generate electricity at the Energy from Waste Plant near Stallingborough, hardly any goes to landfill.

What happens to food waste

Diagram shows what happens to food waste.

Food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, where it is used to generate energy and produce a fertiliser to grow crops.

Food waste enters a sealed building where it is processed into a liquid porridge, and then pumped into the anaerobic digestion plant. It is here that bacteria feed on the food waste and produce biogas. Biogas is captured and used as a fuel in combined heat and power engines or sent through a gas filter and sent directly to the gas grid.

The digestate or biofertiliser produced undergoes pasteurisation to ensure that any pathogens are destroyed and is stored in large lagoons ready to be applied twice a year on farmland. The use of this high nutrient biofertiliser replaces the use of fossil-fuel derived fertilisers and ensures a complete loop of carbon and energy capture.

Find out more at Anaerobic Digestion | BioteCH4

Anaerobic digestion plant

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