Mid Sussex District Council to introduce weekly food waste collections as part of new waste trial

PR2265/MJ/JAE - 11/02/2020

Mid Sussex District Council will become the first District in West Sussex to trial weekly food waste collections as part of an enhanced rubbish and recycling service.

On 10 February, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to proceed, in partnership with West Sussex, with a trial collection service that includes weekly food waste and absorbent hygiene product collections.

The trial service will comprise a ‘1-2-3’ collection system as follows:

  1. Introducing weekly food waste collections and an opt-in subscription service of absorbent hygiene product collections e.g. nappies and incontinence waste;

  2. Retaining existing fortnightly recycling collections and the garden waste subscription service;

  3. Three weekly general rubbish collections.

Three areas will be selected to take part in the trial and direct communication with the residents involved will take place well ahead of the trial’s proposed start date in late April.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“In Mid Sussex, the average household refuse bin is made up of more than 41% food waste, by weight, and the evidence from other areas of the country is clear that food waste collections can dramatically increase recycling and reduce general waste.

“We know that Mid Sussex residents work extremely hard to recycle their waste and are keen to recycle more. 55% of respondents to a resident consultation in 2018 asked to be able to recycle food waste and this trial is a direct response to that feedback. If the trial is successful, we hope to be able to roll the service out to the whole District in 2021”.

Councillor John Belsey, MSDC Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery said:

“Food waste has a significant negative impact on our environment and it is estimated that recycling all food waste nationally would have the same environmental benefit as taking 1 in 4 cars off the UK’s roads.

“When food waste is collected separately, an anaerobic digester can use the gas that is produced when the food breaks down to generate energy and turn the left-over material into a soil fertiliser.

“With weekly food waste and absorbent hygiene product collections, general rubbish bins will be much less full.”

The trial will be run in partnership with West Sussex County Council.

West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Deborah Urquhart said:

“This is the first trial of its type to be considered in West Sussex. Our aim would be to gain valuable feedback from residents, enabling a full review before potentially re-shaping and enhancing rubbish and recycling collections for the future.”