An astonishing twenty to twenty-five percent of all disposable waste consists of leftover, spoiled or just unwanted food. The cost of removing and disposing of all this organic material is getting higher all the time, and with new and projected spending cutbacks in government organizations, the reasons for reducing both waste and cost are mounting by the day.
The City Council of Bolton, a sizable town in Greater Manchester, has approved a scheme designed to improve the situation in several ways. Beginning in October this year, some 70,000 residents of the town will be able to recycle their kitchen waste and save themselves money in the bargain. The numbers available from an earlier report suggest that as much as 2,300 tonnes of this type of waste could be diverted from landfills in the last months of 2011, and up to 3,500 tonnes in the coming year.
Savings for the Council and for residents should be substantial; it is estimated that the Council will save about £130k in landfill waste disposal fees this year, and up to £1 million next year. The plan is to recycle kitchen/food waste along with garden waste, using the green bins already in place. To make it as convenient as possible, kitchen scraps and leavings can be deposited directly into a compostable liner bag that can then be tied up and put in a green bin.
The material from the green bins will be turned into compost at the Bury processing plant, and used for landfill and for commercial compost. The expectation is that the overall cost to pick up and recycle all that wasted food will be half what it’s costing with the current landfill disposal. The initial outlay for the project is projected at around £218k for kitchen caddies, liners and more green bins. Then there will be an ongoing annual cost of about £227,500 for additional green waste collection.
Details about the new service will be mailed to residents this month, and in September the city will supply leaflets with all the pertinent information about collection dates, what is and is not acceptable for recycling in green bins, and how to order more free liners etc. At the same time, participants will receive their initial supply of caddies and liners.