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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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