More Merton Residents To Get Food Waste Bins

Recycling scheme expands to further 10,000 homes

Merton Council is about to roll out its food waste collection service to a further 10,000 households across the borough.

Starting from Monday June 28, Merton residents are set to benefit from the new service, which has been kick-started with £400,000 in funding from WRAP - the Waste & Resources Action Programme.

The expansion of the service follows Merton's successful pilot involving 10,000 homes across the borough last year. Since September 2009, the council has collected nearly 1,000 tonnes of food waste for recycling.

The service will be rolled out in three phases of 10,000 households this calendar year. By mid-September, 40,000 homes will be taking advantage of food waste recycling. Extra funding from WRAP means that by March 2011, 50,000 households will be included in the scheme.

In the areas where food waste collection is to be introduced, the council will give each household a ventilated caddy to sit in their kitchen and a lockable bin for the garden into which they can empty their caddy when it becomes full. They will also be given a starter pack of biodegradable starch liners for the caddy contents. The council will empty the lockable bins on the same day as the recycling and rubbish collections every week. 

Currently recycling over 33% of its waste, the borough is now heading for 40% once the 50,000 households are all benefiting from the food waste collection Instead of going to landfill, the food waste will be recycled into compost.

Rolling out the food waste collection services, Merton is set to make significant disposal savings with the current rate for composting food waste at around £50 per tonne. This compares with landfill costs at over £80 per tonne - more than half of which is landfill tax.

Results from Merton Council's survey covering the homes in the pilot last year found residents noticed a reduction in the amount of waste they put in their black bin liners. They also reported cleaner streets following rubbish collection and a drop in evidence of foxes tearing open bin liners due to their food waste being stored in the lockable bins.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: "Reducing landfill is not only good for the environment; it is also financially sound as we reduce the amount of money we have to pay in landfill tax too. As is so often the case, green sense makes financial sense."

June 27, 2010