Food waste bins rolled out across Merton

Merton completes roll-out of food waste bins to all households

Merton Council has distributed food waste bins to more than 80,000 households across the borough in a bid to encourage residents to recycle more.

Composting food waste will help Merton reduce the amount of rubbish that would otherwise be sent to landfill. It will cut the borough’s landfill tax burden by over £100,000, while making good use of soil improver at the same time. The service will lead to cleaner streets by reducing the amount of black refuse bags put out for collection.

Everyone can now place all their food waste (except liquids) in a special brown caddy provided by the council. This includes any raw or cooked food such as bread, meat, fish, bones, as well as eggs and cheese.

About 20% of the waste in an average bin (by weight) is food waste. When food rots in landfill it generates methane, a greenhouse gas around 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: “The positive feedback we’ve received from residents who are already using food waste bins demonstrates that our service is helping households reduce their landfill waste.

“The amount of waste we send to landfill, including food waste, is a major concern. It not only affects us financially, but it also has an adverse impact on the environment too. We all need to take responsibility for the waste we generate and our food waste service is one way in which we can help reduce the amount which ends up in landfill.”

To find out more about the service, residents can visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/foodwaste or for tips on how to reduce your food waste, please visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

Facts and figures on food waste:

· We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, costing us £12bn – most of this could have been eaten.

(source: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/about-food-waste)

· Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes

(source: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/facts-about-food-waste-0)