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Warwickshire study finds food waste rates wanting

Domestic waste habits across Warwickshire have been revealed by a county council analysis designed to find areas that the council needs to target. The Waste Composition Analysis sampled kerbside and waste recycling centres rubbish to find out where its services were effective and where more attention could increase recycling rates. Sample rubbish collections were carried out between October 2006 and February 2007. They found that residents in Nuneaton were wasting less food than people living in Warwick. In Warwick, nearly 40% of all waste in the bin is food. The council estimated that this would be equal to nearly 12,000 tonnes of food each year in the Warwick district alone. In Nuneaton, where a larger sample was taken, the percentage of waste food dropped to 28% or 12,300 tonnes a year. The rural former mining communities of North Warwickshire produced only 25% or 5,000 tonnes of waste food a year. The analysis also found that across the county 20% of waste was paper, 6% was glass and 3% was metal tins and cans, all of which could go into kerbside boxes. In total this is more than 78,000 tonnes a year that could have been recycled. Improvements in the collection methods used, such as collecting food waste, would enable Warwickshire to reach a recycling rate of 42%. County council portfolio holder for the environment councillor Martin Heatley said: "This analysis clearly shows that the recycling rate targets we have set of 60% at the recycling centres and 40-45% across the county are stretching but achievable. Warwickshire reached a recycling rate of 30% last year which was a great success, but we can, and need to, do more."

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