Headlines: August 21st, 2007

 

A pioneering kitchen waste collection system being run by Preston City Council is attracting interest from Sweden and Ireland as well as from authorities around the country. The council is a beacon authority for waste and recycling and has been running the scheme for two years.

The trial is sponsored by the Lancashire Environmental Fund, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lancashire County Council as well as the City. It is to continue with a grant from the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

Steve Waller, Sustainability Advisor with the Improvement and Development Agency said, “The council based the food waste collection programme on a successful programme used in Italy. It’s a great example of what can happen when a good idea is put into practice. It’s not just beneficial for the environment, but for the community and council as well.”

Preston residents have been given two bins and a supply of compostable bags for them. A seven-litre caddy is used in the kitchen and a 25-litre bin is kept outside. The waste is collected weekly and is used by the local authorities’ parks departments, by schools and for local planting activities. Participation in the scheme has reached up to 90 per cent in some streets. The council also believes it’s learning lessons about scientific issues surrounding the separation, collection and processing of food waste from an urban area.

Recycling project officer David Stowe said since Preston became a beacon, almost 200 people had visited the council for advice on how to implement a kitchen waste collection system. “We have also had interest from organisations in Sweden, the Channel Islands and there are visits planned to Preston from councils at Belfast and Dublin. The programme has created a lot of interest. It is of note that many other councils starting up or considering similar schemes took the time to find out what did and did not work for us, ” he added.