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Kent opts for weekly food rounds

All 15 Kent district councils will collect food waste weekly by the end of next year, research has revealed.

The three councils in the county currently running alternate-week collections for food waste - Thanet and Canterbury District Councils and Swale Borough Council - are all set to switch to weekly food rounds, according to the research by BBC Kent.

It will add to pressure for the government to include food waste collections in its £250m weekly collections support scheme.

Canterbury chief officer for waste collection Larissa Laing said: “For us, it’s not about the funding it’s about increasing the amount of food waste we recycle.”

Laing said the council would retain its fortnightly collection of residual waste.

Councils and the waste industry are awaiting details this month of the government’s £250m weekly collections support scheme.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles unveiled the scheme in September, stating it would “support councils to deliver a weekly collection of household waste and improve the environment”.

But suggestions that councils operating alternate-week collections for residual waste should revert to weekly collections have met stiff resistance.

Waste experts, green campaigners and a growing number of councils have said the move does not make environmental or financial sense. They have called for the fund to be available for councils wishing to revert to a weekly food waste collection.

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management chief executive Steve Lee said while government could “steer” the debate, it was crucial councils made decisions that were best for their local communities

“Waste has always been a local issue. I know government wants to help steer and help local authorities to do the best thing but it’s always been a local authority issue, they need to do what’s best for their patch,” he said.  

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