Waste not, want not

Merton’s newly rolled out food waste collection scheme is already being hailed a success. The extension of the food waste collection to a further 8,000 homes in the borough has already boosted Merton’s recycling rates.

Over the last four weeks, Merton Council has collected nearly 60 tonnes of food waste from the 10,000 homes now taking part in the council’s scheme. This number is set to rise as householders get into the habit of going green.

This means the council is now collecting almost 40 tonnes of overall recycling/composting per week from the 10,000 households receiving this new service. As a direct result Merton is on course to achieve its target of 32% recycling and composting for 2009/10 and is now heading for 33%. The strong start looks positive for the future as plans are considered to roll it out to more households next year.

Merton resident Sam Bradfield said: “This is a wonderful service and I am making full use of it. It’s great to know that all my used tea bags and fish bones are being collected to be recycled into compost – something beneficial. The council has made it so easy for us. All I have to do is put out our special kitchen waste bin along with the recycling boxes and general rubbish all on the same day as normal. Any initiative that means we send less waste to landfill and recycle more is good by me.”

Merton’s new food waste collection service demonstrates the council’s commitment to offering residents value for money, to minimising Merton’s impact on the environment and to fighting climate change. Making it easier for residents to recycle more means the council sends less waste to landfill and currently saves £28 for every tonne of waste diverted from landfill.

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘The use of the new recycling scheme has exceeded our expectations. The fact that so many residents are making use of this service shows us that there is a need for food waste collection. Overall, we expect to divert around 30,000 tonnes of waste from landfill this year which means we have been able to reinvest the £1.2 million that would have gone on landfill tax to deliver more efficient and improved services.

‘It is fantastic to see so many households making the most of the services we provide and making the choice to be greener and cleaner. We therefore hope to be able to offer the scheme to more residents from next year. By all working together, we can minimise the waste going to landfill and maximise climate friendly alternatives.’

For more information and to view a video about the food waste collection, visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/foodwaste


Notes to editors:

Food waste collections are made every week on the same day as normal refuse collection
Landfill tax: Local councils have to pay a tax for every tonne of waste they send to landfill. The amount of tax that a council has to pay depends on the weight of the material the council sends to landfill and the kind of waste the council is disposing of. The standard rate of landfill tax is £40 per tonne, up from £24 in 2007. Over the next four years the tax will increase by £8 per tonne each year, reaching £72 per tonne in 2013.