Local authorities (LAs) in Wales have been strongly advised to use a £15million increase in Sustainable Waste Management Grants (SWMGs) to prepare for food waste collection and treatment.
The Welsh Assembly Government announced the funding increase as part of a £50m allocation of grants for LAs.
Minister for Environment Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson also announced the amount each LA would receive for 2008/09. Even more money will be allocated through the SWMGs and ring-fenced for food waste recycling for 2010/11.
Davidson said: This funding will help LAs continue their progress and put in place the infrastructure of collection, treatment and disposal that is required as well as measures to raise public awareness and participation in recycling.
Increasing the amount they recycle will help LAs meet their targets and reduce costs from increases in landfill tax.
Food waste is an area of great potential and exploiting this will be essential if we are to continue increasing the amount of waste we recycle and divert from landfill.
It is of particular importance in the fight against climate change because when deposited in landfill, food waste generates methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide.
There are also potential benefits from food waste. Energy can be produced through anaerobic digestion. This process can also help recycle nutrients for maintaining soil health.
Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Merthyr, Carmarthenshire though not necessarily county wide, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Bridgend and Swansea have already introduced food waste collection services.