Merton To Roll Out Food Waste Collection

All homes to be added to succesful service

The food waste collection service is to be extended to all households across Merton, to take advantage of £292,770 worth of funding.

The council has been collecting food waste from 50,000 households since November 2010, but 38% of homes in the borough - many of them flats - have not been included.

But a trial of a collection service for 418 flats has led to a succesful bid for funding from the London Waste and Recycling Board.

Now Merton borough council's Cabinet has given the the go-ahead for the service to be extended across the borough when it met on Monday (January 16).

To take advantage of the funding, the scheme must be implemented by March 31. It's anticipated it will take place in six stages, with the full roll-out ending in June.

Adding the remaining 32,650 households' worth of food waste to the scheme will add an estimated 1,800 tonnes towards exceeding Merton's target of achieving over 40% recycling and composting for 2012/13. 

By extending the food waste collection services, Merton is also set to reduce its landfill tax burden by over £100,000.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge (left), said: "The positive feedback from households who already use the food waste collection service demonstrates that our high quality service helps households reduce their landfill waste.

"Composting food waste means we're reducing the amount that would otherwise be sent to landfill, making significant savings and good use of a valuable product at the same time. The service will also lead to cleaner streets by reducing the amount of black refuse bags put out for collection."

Councillor Henry Nelless (left), the Conservatives' Environment Spokesman, said: "Well, Labour had to do something right eventually when it came to recycling and street cleaning, Let's not forget however that they are using money from Boris Johnson to pay for the scheme. 

"There is no original Labour thought in this at all, but the benefits for those residents who will now finally get food recycling will be great. Labour have clearly been forced to act given the appalling results from the latest Annual Residents Survey in areas of refuse collection, recycling facilities and street cleaning.  It is better late than never."

January 17, 2012