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Successful Local Authority Food Waste Recycling Trial Extended

We’re thrilled to be partnering with North East Lincolnshire Council on their food waste recycling trial, which they’ve recently announced they’re extending to a further 900 households.


Mandatory food waste collection is on the radar for every local authority and although it’s not currently mandatory, around 40% of authorities already provide this service with others working to implement their food waste collection plans.

We started working with the team at North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) last April as they rolled out a pilot for food waste recycling with residents across 4,680 homes in five wards. This included a mix of different property types and urban, suburban and rural neighbourhoods.

The council provided residents with their own food waste caddy for their kitchens and access to a lockable outside bin. The collection of food waste separate from that of normal household waste ensures household waste bins remain cleaner and it reduces the smell associated with them.

Their pilot saw set out rates (the number of bins presented on a collection) for North East Lincolnshire amongst the highest in the country at around 53 per cent. On average, each household is recycling 3.26kg of food waste per week, which otherwise they would have put in their household waste bin.

NELC are just one of a few local authorities now partnering with us on their food waste recycling, we’re seeing an increasing number of enquiries and requests for information and support throughout the next 12 months.

Food waste is harming the planet

Currently, food waste makes up about a third of the average household waste bin and could be recycled. The provision of the food waste caddy for residents ensures a smooth and easy process for the recycling of food, which once collected is processed at food waste recycling plants, like our Hemswell Biogas plant in Lincolnshire.

We’re still looking at a guideline date of 2023 from Government for all councils to collect their food waste separately, although there are rumours this may be extended to 2025. The trial by NELC not only puts them in a good position for the changes ahead but also demonstrates the appetite from residents to collect and separate their food waste for the good of the environment.

In a recent campaign by WRAP, stats shared about the impact food waste is having on our planet stated that 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste is thrown away in the UK each year.

This food waste is responsible for nearly 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 5.4% of the UK’s territorial emissions. The majority, 4.5 million tonnes, is food that could have been eaten and is worth approximately £14 billion (or £60 a month for an average UK family).

Pamela Woolcock, our Group Public Sector Lead commented on the recent pilot extension; “I’m thrilled to see the fantastic capture rates from the residents of North East Lincolnshire pilot scheme with our Hemswell Biogas site. It shows real commitment for a purpose we know here at BioteCH4 is cost-effective, deliverable and overall, sustainable.”

How BioteCH4 can help?

Once food waste has been extracted from the residual waste stream it is then ready for composting or recycling by anaerobic digestion. This is a process that both generates power while leaving a digestate which is then suitable for land spreading to improve soil fertility.

At BioteCH4, we own and operate anaerobic digestion facilities across the UK, providing a market-leading range of biological support, emergency response and feedstock supply to other operators across the industry.

We have the knowledge, experience to handle the food waste that the UK produces and the capacity to take care of the long-term quantities involved in local authority collection.

We’re already partnering with local authorities, and we’re happy to assist those that are making the transition with the process.

If you’d like to discuss any of the options, then please feel free to get in touch with Pamela Woolcock, our Group Public Sector Lead at localauthorities@ch4mail.com.

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