Wiltshire Council must introduce food waste collection

Wiltshire Council must introduce food waste collection

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 5:45am 4th March 2020. (Updated at 11:18am 9th March 2020)

4 minute read

The local authority needs to roll out the service within three years under government plans to stop left leftovers going to landfill.

The Environment Bill outlines plans for food waste to be collected separately from all households by 2023.

Wiltshire Council is one of 160 local authorities across the England that currently do not offer this service for kitchen scraps to residents.

Research from Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)  shows that the average UK household wastes eight meals a week, suggests that around 37,000 tonnes of food is thrown away in the area each year.


Typically, food waste is collected from houses using a caddy in the kitchen and putting out the scraps in another container outside for collection, or it can be combined with garden waste.

Food waste bin
A caddy to collect kitchen scraps.

Flats pose more of a challenge, with some given communal bins to empty their caddies in to.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said

"Nobody wants to see good, nutritious food going to waste and harming our environment, which is why we've committed to eliminating food waste from landfill by 2030."

The Government says its preference is for separate collections rather than with garden waste.

The Local Government Association said it supported ambitions to reduce food waste, but stressed decisions over separate collections should be a local decision.


The local authority has teamed up with Great Green Systems to offer residents discounted food waste composters, called a Green Johanna.

Costing £50 they're similar to  traditional compost bins but they are able to take ALL cooked and uncooked food waste including meat, fish, bones, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.

It turns it into compost for your garden - you can find out more on the Wiltshire Council website.

Green Johanna Wiltshire Council
 Green Johanna recycles all kinds of waste food – even cooked food, bones, meat and fish – into natural organic compost. 


Campaign group Feedback have branded uneaten food across the country has an "environmental nightmare of epic proportions".

Carina Millstone, executive director said: 

"Councils have an important role to play - sending food scraps to be composted or to be made into energy is far better than sending it to landfill or to be incinerated, saving around one third of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by binning food.

"However, not wasting edible food is by far the best option. It’s imperative that the Government provides support not only for kerbside food waste collection, but also for initiatives to help us all waste less food in the first place."


Wiltshire Council says its committed to supporting residents in minimising the waste they produce, and says it will continue to subsidise the cost of food waste digesters 

However the local authority admits the cost of introducing a new service IS an issue.

"Collection costs for a large shire county such as Wiltshire are a significant barrier to the introduction of weekly food waste collections."

Bosses also say they are already taking steps to reduce food waste going to landfill.

“We currently divert 110,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill per annum, with 50,000 tonnes per annum sent to an ‘Energy from Waste’ facility, and 60,000 tonnes per annum managed through a Mechanical Biological Treatment facility in the county. Therefore, a significant proportion of food waste present in the residual waste we collect at the kerbside is managed through this route rather than going to landfill.

Wiltshire Council say they are monitoring developments with the new Environment Bills.


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