Croydon Council’s weekly food waste collection has reached 1000 tonnes, saving the council £80,000 in landfill tax.
The new plans to collect food waste weekly and rubbish every fortnight caused initial problems and faced criticism, but nine weeks after introducing the programme, the residents seem to have caught on.
Muriel Passmore, coordinator of Friends of the Earth Croydon, who first pitched the idea to the council, says although she is not sure of the take-up rate, a lot of people in her own street have been recycling food waste.
“We wanted to find out how to save waste from going to landfill and cut down on methane. Food waste was one of them that released methane into the air,” she said.
“We had a meeting with council members and they were already planning on introducing it themselves. They agreed with our suggestions.”
The council feels benefits are environmental as well as economic because a thousand tonnes of rotting food in a landfill site will release almost hundred tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane.
Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for highways and the environment said: “I’m delighted that we’re very clearly on track to achieve what we set out to do save money for local people and protect the environment for generations to come.”
Passmore did however agree the larger problem of food waste was still unchecked: “People buy more than what they need. However, I think the current economic situation makes people spend less on food anyway.”
She added that Friends of the Earth are in the process of releasing recipes for wasted and leftover food, in order to dissuade people from throwing away food.