Council begins food waste collection scheme 

But high recycling local ward excluded from the service

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Cllr John Delaney, cabinet member for streets and the environment (left) and Earl McKenzie, the council's waste and recycling manager.

More information on the council’s food waste scheme is available at or from Ealing customer services on 020 8825 6000.

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Ealing Council has become one of only a handful of local authorities in London to begin a free borough-wide food waste recycling scheme for residents.

All food waste will be collected by the council from resident’s homes, including meat, fish, cooked and raw food, bones, vegetable and fruit peelings, dairy products, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds.

Households will be given a sealable bin, which prevents spills and smells and protects the contents from vermin such as rats and foxes.

Currently, around 24% of an average household bin in the borough consists of unwanted food. Instead of sending this valuable resource to be buried in landfill sites, the council will have it converted into compost. The new service will be available to 75% (95,000) of the borough’s households.

The food waste collection service will help the Council avoid financial penalties in the coming years. As well as sharply rising landfill taxes, local councils may have to pay fines for sending biodegradable waste, like food, to landfill. If action is not taken now, these fines could run into millions of pounds by 2010.

The service will be rolled out on a ward by ward basis from October 18 with collections throughout the borough by next Easter. It will start in Acton Central ward. Cllr John Delaney, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for streets and the environment, who represents Acton Central, said: “The scheme is one of the council’s key priorities this year and we hope as many residents as possible come on board. It is hugely important because it will save the council money and benefit our residents and the environment."

Cllr. Gary Malcolm is unhappy that Southfield Ward, which covers the Bedford Park and Acton Green areas, has not been included in this phase of the scheme. The ward has the third highest recycling rate in the borough. He also criticised the documentation circulated in relation to the scheme which incorrectly designated the ward which several roads were in. He said, "It is good the council have finally got moving on the kitchen waste collection scheme as it is something myself and the Liberal Democrats have been active on for some time. It is a shame though that the council did not select Southfield to be one of the first tranche of wards to be a part of the scheme since Southfield is one of the wards with the most residents who recycle household items."

The bins will be collected on the same day as residents’ green boxes, where they currently keep items like paper, glass and cans before they are taken away for recycling by the council.

Andy Bond, director of the council’s contractors ECT, which will carry out the collections, said, “At the moment residents can recycle a range of items using their recycling box and pink garden waste bags. The introduction of the food waste scheme means they can now easily recycle their uneaten food – from peelings to meal leftovers and out of date produce - which combined with paper, cans and glass makes up over half of the average bin.”

The food waste collection service is being part funded by the London Recycling Fund – which receives money from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The council’s recycling team will hold four roadshows this year, to explain the scheme to residents.

This year’s roadshows will be on:
• Saturday 8 October, outside the Post Office, in The Mount, Acton, from 11am-3pm
• Sunday 9 October, outside Dolcis shoe shop, Ealing Broadway shopping centre, from 11am-3pm
• Monday 17 October, South Road, Southall – to be confirmed
• Saturday 22 October, Greenford car park, The Broadway, Greenford, from 11am-3pm.

Residents will be able to enter a free prize draw to win a Christmas hamper of environmentally friendly cleaning goods from Ecover when they visit the roadshows.

October 6, 2005