Barnet Council agrees to scrap separate food waste collections

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Separate weekly food waste service costs Barnet Council £300,000 per year
Is it me? These numbers tell quite a story... 3kg per participating house per week is not a poor ...

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Barnet Council’s Environment Committee has agreed to scrap separate food waste collection after it found only 25% of homes were using the service.

It said the changes will aim to ensure services are run in the most efficient, effective and economical way possible.

Separate weekly food waste service costs Barnet Council £300,000 per year for around 5,000 tonnes of food waste, equalling £60 for every tonne collected.

Green garden waste collections will also be changed with collections now only taking place on a weekday and a six-week suspension of services to reflect reduced usage over winter.

Those caught littering will now face an increased fine of £100 while anyone caught fly-tipping will be handed a £400 fixed penalty notice and possible prosecution.

Barnet Council predicts the changes, which will come into effect in September 2018, will save the taxpayer £790,000.

Dean Cohen, chairman of the Environment Committee, said: “We know that refuse and recycling collections are of huge importance to residents in Barnet. That’s why we will continue to provide weekly waste collections. We are also looking at how we can continue to provide a high-quality service, in the most efficient way.”


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Is it me? These numbers tell quite a story...
3kg per participating house per week is not a poor scheme (25% of 131k households, 5000 tonnes a year)
At £120 a tonne to landfill stuff these days, £60 to collect it leaves you with £60 a tonne treatment costs as the break-even point. Even if you have no environmental ethics in your heart at £59.99 per tonne treatment costs the right thing to do is to collect it. At £60.01 to get rid of it the right thing to do is still to avoid landfilling perfectly good resources.. but 'austerity' begins to make it a green luxury purchase.
However. Most of us reading this know that £59.99 per tonne treatment cost for food waste is easily achievable.
Are there other reasons behind scrapping this? Political will?
Despite all the data WRAP has provided for years ..that investing in free liners repays itself many times over in landfill savings, Barnet and many other councils find it too embarrassing to give out liner bags and caddies to do this with.
Even if we accept that Barnet's 50,000 flats and maisonettes are difficult to extract recylates from, that still leaves 48250 households not bothering.
But to tell 50k households that you cant be bothered recycling any more is counter-productive and simply unethical.
Organics are undoubtably the UK's most readily re-usable waste material, needed here on our 80% depleted farmland.
Even if the reason was simply saving our money our future generations will view this generation with disgust.
Mayor Khan has other ideas for London. Lets hope there is an embarrassing political reversal ahead for Barnet?

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