Friends of the Earth calls for weekly food waste collections

July 30, 2007 at 10:53 am

Leading environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth has called for local authorities to introduce weekly food waste collections as part of the government’s strategy to cut waste, increase recycling and tackle climate change. They say the move would help counter concerns about fortnightly rubbish collections.

Refuse collection hit the news again in the wake of a report from the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee. MPs described plans for financial incentive schemes to reward recycling as ‘complex and timid’. They also said that while alternate weekly collections of waste worked in some areas, they were problematic in cities and urban areas.

Members of the public have expressed concerns that storing leftover food for a fortnight leads to bad smells, maggots and vermin. National newspaper The Daily Mail is running a campaign to save weekly rubbish collections. Research to date has found no increased risk to public health linked to alternate weekly collections, but the Commons report called for wider investigation.

According to Friends of the Earth, food waste makes up around 20% of household waste. If collected separately, it can either be composted or used to produce renewable energy. Campaigners say that recycling and composting help us use the earth’s resources more efficiently and play a vital role in the fight against climate change.

Friends of the Earth want more to be done to cut waste all round, not just that coming from households. They are asking the Government to announce a date after which it would be illegal for companies to bury or burn anything that can be reused, recycled or composted.

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