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Thousands of residents get new food waste recycling service

Thousands more people in Lambeth are able to recycle food waste from this week (March 8 to 12)

Food waste and kitchen scraps that end up in landfill sites are a major producer of greenhouse gases.

1,500 houses in Streatham, which are based around the Gracefield Gardens and Sunnyfield Road area, and 1,500 homes in West Norwood, will be given a new kitchen caddy, outdoor caddy, and starch liners that allow residents to separate out all cooked and uncooked food waste – everything from potato peelings to mouldy bread, raw meat, chicken carcasses and plate scrapings.

The service will also be provided to 2,000 flats on estates in the Brixton area as part of the Zero Waste Brixton project. Residents will be given kitchen caddies and liners and encouraged to bring their food waste down to new shared food waste bins.

The waste will be collected by the council on a weekly basis and turned into compost which is used by farmers in the southeast, avoiding the need for artificial fertilisers. Keeping food waste out of landfill sites reduces the emission of environmentally-damaging gases. It is also much cheaper to compost food waste than to send it to landfill.

“Food waste is a major contributor of greenhouse gases if it is sent to landfill, so this is an important service,” said Councillor Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for Environment on Lambeth Council.

“It’s really important that we all try to reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away by following some simple advice, such as using up food scraps and not ‘over buying’ in the supermarket.”

“Recycling rates have increased significantly in Lambeth over the past few years as we have rolled out new services that allow people to recycle more and more materials.”

Lambeth Council began a food waste trial in July last year for 8,000 homes in five different areas of the borough. The extension has been made possible thanks to the Government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which funded the caddies and leaflets.

The food waste trial has proved a success, with an average of 60 per cent of people regularly using the service. The best performing areas are Streatham and Thornton where 73 per cent of residents take part. However, Kevin Crook, Lambeth’s Waste Strategy Manager, encouraged people to make sure they recycled as much of their food waste as possible :

“Currently residents are separating around half of their food waste and we would like to encourage them to separate more. If households are filling up their large brown caddy after a few days and would like another one they can request one free of charge by calling Streetcare on 020 7926 9000 or emailing recycling@lambeth.gov.uk. If residents need more starch liners for their kitchen bins they just need to leave a note on their outdoor caddy on collection day and the crew will leave them another roll.”

In a recent questionnaire, 92.3 per cent of 365 respondents to a survey said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service and 94 per cent would use it if it continued on a permanent basis.

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