More households about to get food waste collections in Exeter

Almost 2,000 more households in Exeter are set to get food waste collections.

Phase three of the roll-out is set to begin shortly, with 1,146 households in Beacon Heath receiving caddies and a letter explaining how the collections will work. An additional 709 properties in the ward and in Pinhoe will follow a short while later.

The first phase of the scheme was rolled out last year, with 1,300 properties receiving the first weekly food waste collections in Alphington. The second phase then followed months later with the rest of Alphington added to the initiative.

Now collections are about to begin in Beacon Heath. The initiative will then be gradually introduced across the whole of the city. Once complete it is expected that the city’s recycling rate will see a dramatic increase, as 47% of Exeter’s residual (black bin) waste is organic material*.

Other areas will be added to the roll-out as and when vehicles, drivers and containers are available and this will be dependent on the supply chain which is currently an issue across the UK.

Exeter City Council encourages people to only buy what they are likely to consume and is currently the best performing of all Devon’s district councils when it comes to producing the least amount of waste per head. This has decreased by a further 3kg per head in 2020/21 to 293kg per person.

However adding a food waste collection service will help the planet and the battle against climate change, as well as increasing the city’s recycling rate. Currently food waste in Exeter goes in with the general ‘black bin’ collections and is sent to the city’s energy from waste plant at Marsh Barton.

Weekly collections of food waste in Beacon Heath and then Pinhoe will shortly start taking place alongside existing collections of household waste and recycling (black and green bins).

Once collected, the food waste is sent off to be turned into soil improver while generating gas and electricity. 

Each household will receive a red 23-litre kerbside caddy as well as a 5-litre grey kitchen caddy.

A dedicated page has been set up on the City Council website to deal with questions about the service, including how to line the caddy or bag up the food waste.

Dates for the rest of the city are still being looked at and will be clearly communicated with residents once a timetable has been developed. People are being requested not to call the Council but to visit the website where a set of frequently asked questions is available.

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor with responsibility for Recycling and Waste Management, said: “It’s great to be adding nearly 2,000 more properties to the food waste roll-out.

“We will be including other areas in a phased manner and extending the roll-out as and when we have the vehicles, drivers and containers available.

“Our message is ‘please be patient with us’. It’s great to adding more properties but this will take time as it is a big undertaking for the whole of the city – and we will be in touch about when your street is about to be added to the roll-out.

“In the meantime, please don’t contact our staff unless you really need to – all the information will be put on our website,” she added.

To find out more information about food waste collections go to the City Council website at http://exeter.gov.uk/FoodWasteCollections

*Figures taken from Devon-wide analysis carried out in 2017.

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