Petitioners plead for food waste collections in Brighton and Hove

A campaigner calling for food waste collections from homes in Brighton and Hove was pleased to hear about signs of progress.

Holly Pike, from Hove, collected more than 1,300 signatures on a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to introduce a food waste collection and disposal system.

Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that work on a scheme was under way although it had been delayed because of the response to the coronavirus.

But a report is expected to be brought to a meeting of the committee next year to set out what can be done.

Councillor Heley said that setting up food waste collection would be expensive but the government was providing funding to help local councils to set up such schemes.

She said: “What I can reassure you of is the fact that none of our domestic food waste goes to landfill. Less than 3 per cent of all of our waste goes to landfill.

“It goes to the ‘energy recovery facility’ where it is burned and used to generate electricity.

“The calorific value of the food is very beneficial to the generation of electricity and makes a significant contribution to the electricity generated which fuels around 25,000 homes.

“This also means that our food waste is not generating the high levels of methane and carbon into the atmosphere through the process of landfill.”

Any food waste collection scheme would require more refuse lorries and Councillor Heley said that the council would consider the carbon cost of a separate service.

She said that people should compost any food waste at home if possible – or through Brighton and Hove Food Partnership’s 40 community composting schemes.

Miss Pike said that she was proud of what the petition had achieved and was encouraged by the steps being taken by the council.

She said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how this all progresses and I hope to see food waste collection rolled out to more households.

“I would like to see food processed more locally and in a more environmentally sound way such as anaerobic digestion which can produce biofuel.”

  1. Chris Reply

    Why waste food in the first place? Many leftovers can be used to create other dishes, or does our takeaway/throwaway society mean people just can’t be bothered?

    • Alex Ward Reply

      What about veg peelings and parts of the fruit/veg that can’t be eaten? That all counts as food waste. Not necessarily just edible food that isn’t eaten. I cut into a brand new onion today that was rotten througout.

  2. Samuel Reply

    food waste will generate gaseous carbon (methane or carbon dioxide) no matter how it is broken down – landfill, incinerartor, etc. or for what purpose. It is a fixed equilibrium – as with all plant matter. Once dead it relase all the carbon it trapped somehow in teh decomposition process (unless it becomes coald or oil in the ground)

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