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Brown food waste bin changes frequently asked questions

How has the food waste collection service changed?

Brown food waste bin collections are currently not taking place as of 4 November 2018. Your last separate food waste collection until further notice took place on your normal food waste collection day on the week commencing 29 October 2018.

All food waste should now be placed in your black refuse bin until further notice. We are advising residents to clean and store their food waste bin and caddy for future use.

Why is the service suspended?

We are currently reviewing how to deliver the recycling and waste services so that we can ensure the service is both economical and environmentally beneficial. We will then look to reintroduce the separate food waste collection service to a timescale which meets the requirements of the  Environment Strategy.

The key factors for suspending the food waste service were:

  • Only around 17% of households participated in the service despite efforts made previously to encourage participation
  • The low levels of participation, meant that low tonnages were collected for recycling.
  • With such low participation, the collections are not financially sustainable

When did last separate food waste collection take place?

Your last separate food waste collection took place on your normal food waste collection day on the week commencing 29 October 2018. All food waste should now be placed in your refuse bin until further notice. Any brown food waste bins put out for collection will not be emptied.

What is happening to my food waste during the suspension?

You are asked to dispose of your food waste in your black refuse bin. This waste will then be taken to an Energy from Waste facility where it will be used as fuel for electricity generation.

When the separate food waste service was introduced in October 2013, a greater proportion of waste for disposal in Barnet was being sent to landfill than is now the case.

The food waste collected separately was sent to an anaerobic digestion plant for processing, where the waste gets broken down to produce gas for green energy. Since the introduction of the food waste service, the majority of refuse waste is no longer sent to a landfill site, but rather to an Energy from Waste facility, where the waste is used to generate electricity. In the light of this, we have reviewed the separate food waste service, the additional cost of this service, and the levels of resident participation in this service. At this time, it is not economically sustainable to continue this service. We will be reviewing future options for delivering the recycling and waste services so that the most economical and environmentally beneficial solutions can be identified.

Can I put my food waste in the blue recycling bin?

No.

Food waste cannot be placed in the blue recycling bins as these are for mixed household recycling items, such as plastic bottles and tin cans. Any food waste placed in blue bins will lead to the material being rejected at the Materials Recovery Facility where items are processed.

Can I put my food waste in the green garden waste bin?

Food waste cannot be placed in green bins as the current composting arrangements only accept plant products, and not food products. If food waste was to be included then a different and more expensive composting method would be needed. This is due to legislation introduced following a Foot and Mouth disease outbreak.

What will happen to all the brown bins and kitchen caddies?

We are advising residents to clean and store their food waste bin and caddy for future use.

I have ordered a brown food waste caddy / bin, will this still be delivered?

All brown caddy or bin orders placed before 5 June 2018 and those that have been made since this date will not be delivered to residents. We are not currently processing orders for new or replacement brown food waste bins, either online or by telephone.

What action do I need to take?

Do not place your brown food waste bin out for collection, until further notice.

All food waste should be placed in your black refuse bin.

We are advising residents to clean and store their food waste bin and caddy for future use.

Visit this page for lots of tips on how to reduce your food waste and save money, and to find out more about composting your fruit and vegetable peelings, eggshells and fruit skins at home.

How can I make sure I am recycling as much as possible?

We will continue to promote the appropriate use of all the recycling services available to residents.

Visit this page to check that you are recycling everything that you can, and that you are recycling correctly. There is additional information available on how to reduce your food waste, which could also save you money, as well as tips and tricks on home composting.

What other options do I have to recycle my food waste?

While the separate food waste collection service is suspended, residents can make a huge difference by reducing the amount of food waste generated in the first place. Reducing food waste provides more environmental benefits than collecting it for recycling, and can help residents save money. Home composting also provides environmental benefits by reducing the emissions involved in collecting waste from households.

How do I compost my food waste at home?

Guidance and advice is available on how to compost food waste at home

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