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Harlow council begin new food waste recycling service

Politics / Mon 2nd Dec 2013 pm31 12:26pm

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HARLOW Council is to roll out a brand new food waste recycling collection service for flat blocks to help divert food waste going to landfill. The roll-out of the new scheme will be conducted in two phases, with the first collections beginning this Friday December 6th and the second phase due to begin next Spring.

Residents living in flat blocks in the first phase have received kitchen caddies along with an information leaflet which explains what can be recycled. Flat blocks have received a large green communal food waste bin, which residents can empty their caddies into as required. Collections will be made on a weekly basis.

Since 2009 houses in the town have been recycling their food waste and now the new service, which is being funded with a Government grant, will enable around 8,000 of Harlow’s flat block residents to ensure that their food waste is not sent to landfill. Instead it will be used to produce green energy, which goes to the National Grid to power homes, and liquid fertiliser which can be used to grow more food.

Waste that could be recycled or reused and ends up at landfill adds to Harlow’s share of the Essex landfill tax bill. For the first six months of this year Harlow’s landfill tax bill was nearly £500,000. Councillor Phil Waite, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said, “Every year millions of tonnes of food waste is thrown away in the UK and sent to landfill sites. It is important that we divert as much waste including food from landfill as possible.

“The residents of Harlow are making a good effort to recycle but we need everyone to do more. We are doing our bit to help residents by successfully securing money to provide new services like this.

“Unfortunately in Harlow we are seeing an increase in people putting food waste in normal recycling bins which is causing contamination – food waste cannot be recycled this way. The separate food waste collection service is easy to use and any leftover food will not go to waste but be used to produce new energy and grow more food.

“The more we recycle food correctly the less waste we have going to landfill. This helps reduce greenhouse gases and keep landfill taxes down. Council Tax payers end up footing the local landfill tax bill, so not wasting food and recycling leftovers helps to keep costs down for everyone.”

More information on the council’s flat block food waste scheme can be found here.

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