On Monday evening I chaired a meeting of the Council's Waste Management Working Party. I actually like this quarterly meeting as it gives us councillors a chance to scrutinise our waste collection scheme.
There was one interesting statistic given on the night which I feel deserves wider attention. Back in March, I had to make the difficult and somewhat unpopular decision at the time, to remove black sacks that were given to residents.
With the rising costs of putting waste into landfill, we needed to get people recycling more to avoid rising costs of the £3 Million we spend each year on landfill charges.
In conjunction with removing black sacks, we introduced new blue food waste bins and food waste sacks. Since the introduction of food waste sacks, food waste tonnages have increased significantly, reaching over 400 tonnes in April, May and August of this year.
Compared with ppre-scheme tonnages of 255 tonnes per month on average in the 2012-2013 financial year, it is forecast on current projections that over 4,500 tonnes of food waste will be collected in 2013-2014.
This represents an overall 54% increase in tonnage captured on the previous year. The additional food waste tonnage diverted from landfill from March and April this year saved approximately £13,000 in landfill costs.
So much for the Armageddon of rubbish piled high in our streets as predicted by the opposition parties!