Horsham District food waste trial results are in

Results from a recent food waste collection trial amongst selected residents are now in and have been analysed by Horsham District Council’s Recycling and Waste team.

Some 100 households in the Horsham District recently took part in a new recycling and waste collection trial to include separate collections of food waste and Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP).

All residents who were selected to participate in the trial and receive kerbside collections were given free bins, including a lockable food waste recycling bin and a handy kitchen caddy.

Residents who live in flats were supplied with a free kitchen caddy and their bin stores were upgraded to collect food waste and AHPs.

Top line results have shown:

  • Trial participants recycled some 2,657kg of food waste in just 12 weeks
  • On average each trial household collected 3.05kg of food waste per week
  • On average general waste was cut from 6kg per household to 4kg per household per week
  • Participants cut the overall amount they put into their green-top bins by one third
  • The capacity of our 140 litre green-top waste bins proved sufficient to cope with a three weekly collection
  • Participants found the food waste collection process really easy

The trial service used a ‘1-2-3’ collection system, as follows:

  1. Weekly food waste collections and an optional, free subscription service of Absorbent Hygiene Product collections, if required e.g. nappies and incontinence waste
  2. Existing fortnightly recycling (blue-top bin) collections and garden waste (charged, subscription service)
  3. Three weekly general waste (green-top bin) collections, based on trial participants having substantially less waste to dispose of as a result of their food waste being collected separately and other collection services recently introduced by the Council such as textiles, small electricals and household batteries.

The food waste ‘1-2-3’ trial was developed as a result of resident feedback telling us that they would like separate food waste collections amidst concerns about the impact of food waste on the climate.

Additionally, the Government is also looking to make separate food waste collections mandatory in the future.

Collected food waste was taken to an Anaerobic Digester which breaks it down into bio fertiliser for use on land, and a biogas, which can be used for generating energy.

Commenting on the food waste trial, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Recycling and Waste Cllr Toni Bradnum said:

The results from this trial will be crucial in helping us to fully understand how we can improve the way we deliver future recycling and waste collections and establish the most appropriate frequency of collections and size of bins to effectively meet residents’ needs.

I’m really pleased that the trial participants were so positive about the trial, found their collections so easy and saved so much food waste from going to landfill as a result.

No decision has been made on the future pattern of waste collections but this trial should pave the way to building upon our current great recycling record.