UK Government allocates £295m for food waste collections

Posted: 28 March 2024 | | No comments yet

The Government has committed to supporting councils in England through £295m of funding to aid the implementation of weekly food waste collections.

food waste

The UK Government has announced that it will be supporting councils in England with “up to £295 million” in funding to introduce weekly food waste collections by 31 March 2026.

According to the government, the funding will be used to cover new food waste containers for homes and specialist collection vehicles, and will be “targeted at local authorities that have yet to fully put food waste service in place”.

In total, one third of all food in the world is wasted, according to the UN Environment Programme, however in the UK over ten million tonnes of food is wasted each year in the UK, with some of this being sent to landfill.

“Separate collections of food waste from every household will prevent contamination of other waste which could be usefully recycled, as well as ensuring that food waste can be sent to anaerobic digestion facilities rather than needlessly lost to landfill,” shared the UK Government.

Going further, the UK Government explained that by directing food waste to these plants, a larger quantity of sustainable energy can be generated that can be used to power homes and businesses, and “cut down the more than 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions associated with this waste”.

“Weekly food waste collections are a central plank in delivering a simpler, easier recycling system for all. It will help to stop food waste heading to landfill and support our goals of tackling both waste and climate change,” said Robbie Moore, the UK Recycling Minister.

“We’re backing councils with new funding to ensure the nation can benefit and recycle more,” continued Moore.

Also commenting on the funding for weekly food waste collections, Claire Shrewsbury, Director of Insights and Innovations WRAP, said: “Weekly food waste collections will give recycling in England an important boost and help reduce the impact of food waste on climate change. Our research shows that when food waste collections are introduced, and people see how much food goes to waste in their home, they want to do something about it.

Waste not, want not: Rethinking food waste

“And with food waste costing a household of four around £1,000 a year, weekly collections will not only help prevent food waste in the first place, but utilise the food waste collected to generate green energy and compost.”

The funding will be allocated as part of the government’s Simpler Recycling initiative, and they claim it will enable people throughout England to recycle consistent materials consequently “ending the confusing patchwork of rules governing what can and can’t be recycled in different parts of the country”.

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