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Waste collection changes in Lichfield and Burntwood could save £500,000

Changes to the way waste in Lichfield and Burntwood is collected could save more than £500,000 over the next three years.

Councillors are set to discuss plans to change the type of rubbish that can be put in brown bins by homeowners in a bid to cut costs.

A report to an overview and scrutiny committee meeting at Lichfield District Council tomorrow (March 5) will outline the proposals for food waste to be put in black bins instead.

Keeping garden waste separate would allow the local authority to use cheaper composting facilities.

The council estimates that £528,624 could be shaved off its bill for dealing with rubbish over the next three years if the plan goes ahead.

“In order to seize the opportunity we would require residents to make a simple change to the way they use the waste services,” the report said.

“We would continue to encourage reductions in food waste but when disposing of it, instead of using their brown bin residents would be asked to put food waste into their black bin or alternatively use home composting where this is practical.”

Waste collected in brown bins currently has to be disposed of in a composting machine which treats the material before it can be used on agricultural or recreational land – a service which costs the council anything up to £50 per tonne of waste.

But removing the food waste would mean a Windrow Composting facility could be used, slashing the cost per tonne by half.

Additional savings could also be made through reduced journeys to disposal sites. Before food was added to the brown bin mix, the waste was composted at a farm in Wall. It currently travels to Cannock or Derby.

The report added that extra checks would need to be employed after the initial change: “It is anticipated for the first few months of the service that resources will have to be allocated to checking garden waste bins in order to identify residents that continue to mix food waste with their garden waste.

“This will initially be quite an onerous task as there are in excess of 70,000 bins presented every fortnight. Feedback from the crews and the composting facility will be used to target resource.

“For those residents that are concerned about losing their weekly option to dispose of food waste then they would receive advice and education on the use of home composting.”

The issue will be discussed at the meeting tomorrow (March 5).

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5 Comments

  1. Cynic

    4th March, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I throw away very little food waste – orange/apple/potato peeling and egg shell.
    We have mainly stopped having food with bones in because of having to use lots of disinfectant to keep bin clean of undesirables in the summer.
    If I dig up a bad vegetable it goes in the garden waste – if I buy some vegetables and part has to be thrown away is that garden or food waste?
    Or is this another exercise on the way that next time the council will say we will have to charge extra for collecting garden waste?

    If this does get passed – can we have a legal clause that the councillors pay the loses which will be incurred?

  2. BramleyandApple

    6th March, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Are windfalls, apples, plums etc deemed garden or kitchen waste? What about unwanted vegetables from the garden, normally thrown away in the brown bin? Is this not the same as carrot peeling from the kitchen? Does the Council mean animal waste? chicken, meat and fish? Would it not be better to exclude these only?

  3. Cynic

    7th March, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Any one know the outcome of the discussions?

  4. lichfieldbornandbred

    7th March, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    “Discussion” implies an exploration of all sides with the end result being acceptable to all parties. This is very rare with our local authority with the Darnford Park replanting and changes to the Householders Waste Site being just two examples.

  5. Asellus aquaticus

    8th March, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    It sounds rather like it’s going back to the way the brown bins were originally set up which was primarily for garden waste, but you could put uncooked vegetable peelings etc. Windfalls etc were still garden waste.