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Babergh decision jeopardises wider food waste implementation

Babergh Council in East Anglia has pulled out of a regional food collection scheme jeopardising its wider implementation.

A partnership between Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils had proposed joint kitchen collections, which Mid Suffolk Council agreed to. However, Babergh said it was concerned about rising costs of fuel making the service unaffordable (MRW July 30).

In a meeting yesterday Babergh councillors voted to accept the recommendation from council officers not to proceed with food collections for the financial year 2009/10.

Without Baberghs participation, cost savings that could have been made through the partnership will be lost, making it too expensive for Mid Suffolk alone.

Babergh chairman of the strategy committee Nick Ridley said: The council faces an ongoing battle to find £700,000 of savings during [2009/10] and the substantial extra costs associated with the food waste scheme would make that even harder to achieve.

Mid Suffolk head of waste and environmental services Paul Lewis said: [Baberghs] decision has left us in a difficult position because we cant move forward without them.

The partnership asked Suffolk County Council (SCC) for £1.7million to fund the scheme, but SCC offered us £574,000 instead, even though it would have made savings on landfill diversion. We are particularly disappointed as we were looking to SCC to pass all the savings onto the councils. But SCC refused to put them in the financial model.

To give SCC some credit, all the councils are being paid a higher level of recycling credits but they are still not passing on the full savings.

The scheme would have cost about three quarters of a million for both councils to implement the service off set by recycling credit payments.

This story was amended August 1 2008 14.09

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