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Extra information on food recycling

During 2015-16 South Gloucestershire council, in conjunction with the three other West of England authorities, were successful in winning a bid from the Department for Local Communities and Local Government to run a food recycling reward scheme branded as Feed me and Win.

Before the scheme started Resource Futures, on behalf of the West of England, undertook additional analysis of residual waste composition and food recycling participation.

The participation levels for South Gloucestershire used a sample of 5,001 properties and used different rounds to the properties selected for previous analysis. The monitoring showed a participation of 55.45 percent and an average set out of 34.86 percent. This compared reasonably well to our neighbouring authorities.

Figure 14: Graph – Average participation and set out for food waste – West of England

Chart showing Average participation and set out for food waste - West of England

All four authorities offer a weekly food recycling collection service. North Somerset outperform the other three authorities.

The waste compositional analysis took a sample from 251 properties of 2,957kg of residual waste and 247kg of separately collected food waste. The average residual waste arisings was calculated at 8.36kg per household per week.

The results show that 57.1 percent of the material in the black bin could have been recycled. This is higher than any other waste compositional analysis of South Gloucestershire waste. Food accounted for 24.7 percent and this is consistent with previous analysis. Garden waste accounted for 6.9 percent, recyclable paper and card 6.2 percent, metals 2.5 percent, plastic 5 percent, glass 1.8 percent and textiles 3.1 percent. Plastic, paper and card were all lower than the council’s annual waste composition.

North Somerset had the lowest amount of recyclable waste in the black bin at 52 percent whilst Bath and North East Somerset had the highest at 64.5 percent.

The weekly food arisings in South Gloucestershire’s recycling stream were calculated as 1.13kg per household per week. Almost 96 percent of the stream was target material. A massive 69.4 percent of the food in the recycling stream in South Gloucestershire was avoidable, the highest of all West of England authorities.

When summarising the data from the black bin and food recycling it is estimated that households generate an average of 3.15kg per week of which 2.07 kg goes in the black bin and 1.08kg in the recycling collection. Over 73 percent of food waste generated is avoidable. The lowest levels of avoidable food waste were in Bath and North East Somerset at 61.6 percent.

It is clear from the analysis that further waste prevention and minimisation messages would benefit residents and that levels of food recycling could be improved.


Relevance to strategy

The strategy will continue to focus on food waste. The primary aim will be to prevent and reduce food waste through an ongoing communication campaign. We will help residents use the food recycling scheme and reduce the amount of food waste going into the black bin by reducing the capacity.