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Glasgow City Council

City wide food recycling service restored for flats and tenements

Published Monday 15 February 2021

food waste bin

Food waste recycling is once again available for residents in flat and tenements across the whole city with collections of grey bins from backcourts beginning again in Glasgow South.

The service was suspended in March last year in response to the first covid lockdown, but a reliable and efficient service collecting food waste from flats and tenements has already been phased in successfully across the north of Glasgow.

A return of food waste recycling in all parts of Glasgow is a necessary step forward in the city's efforts to tackle climate change as nationally food waste is responsible for 25% of the total carbon impact of all the waste we produce. In Glasgow in 2019 774,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were attributed to the 252,000 tonnes of household waste created by the city.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, welcomed the city-wide restoration of a food recycling service and urged householders to play their part in helping Glasgow achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Councillor Richardson said: "Food waste is highly carbon intensive and we must improve our rate of food recycling if the city is to tackle climate change. Although food forms a relatively small part of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste we throw away every year, food leaves behind an outsized carbon footprint on our city.

"A huge amount of energy is used to grow food, transport it and then dispose of it with the majority going into the general waste stream that is most expensive to process. That's before we even consider the unnecessary packaging that often surrounds our food.

"A fundamental part of our new Resources and Recycling Strategy is about reducing the amount of waste each of us produces. Food is one area where there is loads of advice available on how to reduce the amount of waste that gets thrown away, which is good for the environment and household budgets.

"But if you have to bin it then it makes such a difference if it's sorted properly at source. "Our processor Scottish Water wants quality food waste to convert into energy at their plant in Lanarkshire, which means sending them food waste only without any other kinds of rubbish mixed through. Only putting food in the food waste bin will help us make the most of the food recycling service."

One of the big issues facing the service has been grey food bins being spoiled with waste that should have gone into a different bin. This often means the contents of the bin is rejected for reprocessing and has to be treated as general waste, which means a significant extra cost for the council. To help ensure only good quality food waste is sent for processing, grey bins have been removed from backcourts where spoiling or 'contamination' is found to be a regular problem. Up to 50 public food waste recycling bins have been installed across the area and we would encourage householders to make use of these to continue recycling their food waste.

Details of public food waste recycling sites can be found on the council's website

There is also further information on how to recycle effectively

Information on the council's new Resource and Recycling Strategy 2020-30 can be accessed via this link.


Published Monday 15 February 2021

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