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Food waste collections costs raise concerns for councils

A Government funded study on food waste has raised local authority (LA) concerns about the cost implications of collections if such schemes are brought in nationwide.

The Local Government Association (LGA) and Larac were both positive about findings showing householders want to recycle food waste (March 27 2008,

LGA chairman Paul Bettison said: Many councils are already collecting food waste separately and are very keen to expand these services.

Larac communications officer Joy Blizzard added: We have seen the executive summary and while the processing costs for food waste are in there, we are concerned that there is no mention of collection costs, we wonder how Defra will address this in large rural areas.

Bettison continued: Recycling food waste is not something that can be done on the cheap.

Specialist equipment is required to collect and dispose of it, and this can be very expensive. The Government has just hit the council taxpayer with a £1.5 billion bill over the next three years by going back on its undertaking to refund money raised through landfill tax. This is cash needed for improving refuse and recycling facilities, and it is unrealistic for ministers to expect more collections of food waste when this money is being taken away.


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