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Public keen for food waste collections, finds study

Substantial public support, 78%, has been found for household food waste collections by a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) funded study.

Consultants Brook Lyndhurst looked at why householders do, or do not, participate in food waste schemes. Only one in 10 households don't see the point in such schemes.

The full study, Enhancing participation in kitchen waste collection schemes - household behaviour and motivations- will be published this spring but its findings were discussed at a Local Government Association Landfill Tax Hikes conference today (March 27 2008).

Research examined environmental and economic benefits of separate weekly food waste collection services. It was found that complex factors, including the type of collection scheme, householder age and sociodemographic profile and local authority communications affect householders enthusiasm and effectiveness.

Other findings included: two in three households, 65%, use their food collection regularly, but 23% have never tried it; food-only systems capture more food waste than mixed food and garden waste; weekly food combined with fortnightly residual waste collection generated the highest food recovery per household.

Environment minister Joan Ruddock said: This research shows that much more can be done cost effectively to prevent food wastage and to recover value.

"European and UK legislation to divert municipal biodegradable waste from landfill rightly imposes tough targets. Food waste recycling has an important role to play in helping Britain meet its international obligations.


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