Agenda item

Food Waste Collection Trial Update

(To receive a report and presentation by Ian Yates, South Kesteven District Council)


The Lincolnshire Waste Partnership received a presentation from Ian Yates, South Kesteven District Council which provided an update on the Food Waste Collection Pilot (Month 8 of 12) which was being carried out in the district.


The presentation provided Partners with further information in relation to the following areas:

·         Rationale – nationally and locally

·         Objectives

·         Methodology – collection

·         Publicity and disposal

·         Interim results – Month 8 – Pre-trial and current waste streams by weight

·         Food waste contained 'set out' rate and Average weekly Food Weight

·         Dry Recyclable Contamination Rates

·         Interim conclusions

·         Next steps


During the presentation, the following was highlighted to Partners:

·         This was an update of month 8 of 12 and therefore there would be some limitations with the data. 

·         There had been significant variation in the volume of waste, but the amount collected could be influenced by many different factors.

·         The figures in the data did not include the green waste or other waste collected.

·         The data provided gave a good level of confidence of what the trial was trying to achieve.

·         The costs of the trial were not representative of how it would be modelled if it went forward on a countywide basis.  There had been additional costs identified due to it being a trial.

·         Data so far indicated that 12% of waste collected was food waste, which was quite a significant amount of the total.

·         In terms of the 'set out' rate, it was noted that a household could be participating, but they had forgotten to put the caddy out that week.  If a household had put the caddy out three times, it was recorded as participating.

·         It was thought that the communications work which had taken place had helped with the participation rate.

·         In terms of disposal, the container at the waste transfer station would be filled every two days and then it was transferred to the AD plant at Hemswell Cliff.

·         The by-product of the AD process was a product of sufficient quality that it could be sold as a soil improver or fertiliser.

·         It was the role of the crew to record those caddies which were not set out.

·         There had been very good participation, but there was a need to look at some tolerances in order to understand behaviours, and why people did not participate.  Evidence suggested that more people took part when others on the same street did.

·         More work was needed to understand the data showing the reduction in levels of contamination.


Partners were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the report and some of the points raised included the following:

·         WRAP were clear that success was linked to communications campaigns, and it was queried whether the communications work was continuing throughout the trial.  It was noted that a communications plan had been agreed at each stage.  There was agreement that the amount of communications work did have an impact on success.  A survey would be circulated near the end of the trial, and it was hoped this would provide further understanding about participation rates.

·         It was queried what had informed the choice of the round.  Partners were advised that officers had tried to pick a route which was representative of the area, with a mixture of urban and more rural properties.

·         Officers were asked if they could start the trial again whether they would do anything differently.  It was noted that as a trial, the current arrangements were ok, but for a countywide collection officers would like more information about a number of collection methods, such as separate collection vehicles.  It was noted that Peterborough had not yet moved to dedicated vehicles.  For the trial, the simplest and cheapest method for collection was chosen.

·         It was queried how the caddy liners were chosen and how they were distributed.  It was noted that the liners were biodegradable and would be able to share the details.  Questions about the liners would be included in the questionnaire to help with further understanding about participation.  It was considered important to try and remove as many barriers as possible to participation.  It was noted that there had been a suggestion to try another trial of not using liners with a small group of current participants.

·         It was noted that the Leader of the County Council was very supportive of this trial, as the trial covered part of his area.  People thought that this was the right thing to do, and if people were supportive of the idea that was half the battle.

·         It was queried how the Partnership would be made aware if a decision was made to extend the trial.  It was noted that decisions were taking place already, and there was a lot of positivity around this so far.  The future for an extended model needed to be informed by evidence.

·         It was commented that it would be useful to try a method that was more replicable, as it was now known that people could be encouraged to participate.

·         It was suggested it would be useful to continue the trial on the current route for another year, and those people in South Kesteven who were keen to get involved could trial it with a different collection method.

·         It was queried whether the bags were truly biodegradable or whether they were nano plastic and held together with starch.  Officers would need to confirm this, but they did liaise with the facility at Hemswell Cliff on the most appropriate bags to use.

·         It was important that any new collection methodology was carried out in an ethical way.  One form of pollution should not be changed for another.


The Chairman thanked those involved with the food waste trial for all their efforts.




            That the update in relation to the food waste trial be noted.


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