Bedford council to get funding to start weekly food waste collections

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Council is waiting for its first grant payment to get the ball rolling

Bedford Borough Council is to get funding to introduce weekly food waste collections, the government has announced.

Councils in England will be supported with up to £295 million in funding to introduce collections by the end of March 2026, the Recycling Minister, Robbie Moore, said yesterday (March 25).

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This new funding is targeted at local authorities that have yet to fully put a food waste collection service in place.

Food waste. Photo: AdobeFood waste. Photo: Adobe
Food waste. Photo: Adobe

In a statement, Recycling Minister Robbie Moore said: “Weekly food waste collections are a central plank in delivering a simpler, easier recycling system for all. It will help to stop food waste heading to landfill and support our goals of tackling both waste and climate change.

“We’re backing councils with new funding to ensure the nation can benefit and recycle more.”

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website shows that Bedford Borough Council is to receive £1,569,080 in capital funding 2023/24.

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A Bedford borough spokesperson said: “The ‘Simpler Recycling’ scheme announced by the Government in October 2023, amongst other things, announced the introduction of food waste collections for all households by 2026.

“DEFRA is providing funding for the set up and ongoing operating costs of the new food waste service to reduce the burden on councils.

“Bedford Borough Council is currently waiting to actually receive the first grant payment to allow us to place orders for specialist food waste vehicles, bins and caddies, some of which have a long lead time currently.

“In the meantime, the council is commencing work to plan food waste collection routes for all households in the borough and options to allow flats to participate in the service.”

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The government said over ten million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, with much sent to landfill.

Collecting food waste separately from every household will prevent contamination of other waste which could be usefully recycled.

The food waste can be sent to anaerobic digestion facilities to generate more sustainable energy to power homes and businesses, and cut down the greenhouse gas emissions associated with this waste.