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Councils to get aditional funding for food waste collections

Up to £295m in capital funding for local authorities to roll out weekly food waste collections

The UK government has pledged £295 million to assist local authorities in launching weekly food waste collection services by 31 March 2026.

Pile of fruit & veg - Bio Collectors

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore unveiled this investment on Monday, 25 March, aiming to supply councils with new food waste bins for residents and specialised vehicles for the collections. Moore highlighted the scheme’s significance, stating, “Weekly food waste collections are essential in providing a more straightforward, accessible recycling system for everyone. This initiative will prevent food waste from ending up in landfill, aiding our efforts to tackle waste management and climate change. We’re offering councils this funding to enhance recycling rates across the nation.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) designed this funding strategy in partnership with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and it involved thorough discussions with council representatives to fine-tune the approach. The allocation formula considers various factors, including the current level of food waste collection services and incorporates aspects such as rural versus urban areas, socio-economic status, types of residential properties, and the cost implications for vehicles and bins.

In line with Defra’s “Simpler Recycling” initiative, which seeks to standardise recycling processes across England, the majority of councils are now expected to introduce weekly food waste pickups. This decision follows a District Council Network (DCN) survey revealing that two-thirds of councils doubted their ability to fund the requisite services for the new recycling reforms.

Amid these financial concerns, Phillip Roche, Commercial Director at Bio Collectors, weighed in on the significance of the government’s investment: “This funding is a critical investment in a service with an immediate environmental impact, fostering the production of sustainable energy and fertiliser within the circular economy. It’s a pivotal move towards treating food waste not as refuse, but as a valuable resource that contributes positively to our environment and society.”

Claire Shrewsbury from WRAP also commented on the initiative, underscoring the positive influence of weekly food waste collections on recycling efforts and the environment. She highlighted how these collections can lead to increased household awareness about food wastage and its implications, both financially and environmentally. Shrewsbury pointed out the dual benefits of preventing food waste and utilising it to generate green energy and compost, illustrating the broader impact of such measures on promoting sustainable waste management and living practices

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