A food waste collection service that was due to start in Lewisham in June has been postponed until October, the borough council has announced.
The collection service will cover the whole of the Lewisham borough. New small bins and kitchen caddies will be provided by the Council to each household and will be emptied weekly and free of charge.
The new service has already been publicised on the Council’s website, in the local press and magazines, but a council spokesperson said: “A borough-wide communications campaign will be launched at the end of July and will continue throughout the summer up to and beyond the introduction of the new service.”
The council wants to increase recycling rates to meet the government’s target to recycle 50% of waste nationally by 2020. “Since a borough-wide consultation on waste and recycling took place in 2015, we’ve introduced a garden waste service and are now introducing free food waste collections, which many respondents supported,” the council spokesperson said.
The Council’s decision to collect food waste comes over ten years late compared to other local boroughs like Croydon and Hackney, which have been offering this service since 2007. In general, according to a document released by the London Environment Committee in 2015, London still has one of the lowest household recycling rates among English regions, at 34 per cent.
Currently, in Lewisham, 38 per cent of the content in black bins is food. The proposed food waste collection service would thus prevent a considerable amount of waste from going to the landfill.
It is not clear whether the council has found a way to cooperate with other boroughs such as Lambeth, Bromley, Bexley and Southwark in order to increase the cost-effectiveness of the operations.
Nor is it clear whether further steps will be taken in implementing the range of materials that can be recycled in the green bins, as for example black plastic or film, which are currently not recycled.
The food waste collection will be implemented in October and will secure a £500,000 saving for the council over the next few years as well as setting the council in the right direction to meet the government’s environmental requirements.
Further information about food waste changes can be found here: www.lewisham.gov.uk/