recycling food waste

January 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm 16 comments

How do you like my new year’s gift from Gloucester City Council? (Mrs Green will be mightily impressed).  46,000 homes in Gloucester have received one of these collection bins this week.  And not one bin but two because inside is a small kitchen caddy as well.  Impressive and here’s why…

Last year Gloucestershire had a landfill tax bill of £5.4 million, this year it’ll be £7 million and it’s set to rise to £10 million by 2013.  Then there is the simple fact that we are running out of landfill space.  Nearly a quarter of household waste in Gloucester by weight is cooked and uncooked food waste.  Instead of rotting in the landfill and producing the harmful greenhouse gas methane our brown bins will be emptied every week and taken to a facility called an In Vessel Composter where our leftovers will be turned into high quality compost for use on farms. 

In Vessel Composting is fully licensed to accept all types of food waste including animal by-products.  We already have a firm habit of recycling our food waste but the scraps I prefer not to add to my compost bin at the allotment (egg shells, orange peel, avocado shells for example) can now be recycled too.  Along with the sludgy porridge layer that’s always left on the bottom of the saucepan.  The occasional bone.  Mouldy cheese.  And cat biscuits left languishing in the bowl in favour of a sniff and a lick of all of the above!

Entry filed under: home life. Tags: .

making kale crisps the vanishing of the bees

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. miss m  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

    WTG Gloucester ! Great initiative.
    It so senseless NOT to recycle food waste, question is: why isn’t every city in the world doing it ?

  • 2. KarenV  |  January 14, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Wow, that’s really enlightened of Gloucester! Coventry has only just got organised enough to *collect* anything other than paper and also finally to offer plastic recycling :\ We recycle all our veggie peelings, etc but it would be good to be able to recycle all the other junk that just ends up in the regular bin.

    Just curious: we always compost our egg shells in with the veggie peelings, why do you not do this?

  • 3. Bilbo  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I’ll be very interested to see how this works in practice.

    I am all for recycling and on a good week our “black bin” has only one little bag in it but in the real word, once this bin gets smelly, has its own nasty sludge at the bottom, or rats start congregating, I wonder how many of the proletariate who don’t really care what they are doing to the planet will bother?

  • 4. Ann  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    It’s a good idea, though I can’t see much ending up in one of these at our house, we are quite frugal!!!

    Our council still puts restrictions on what we can put into the recycling bin but I think we must recycle about 70% of our rubbish, if we could put everything in that has the recycling symbol on it we’d probably reach 90%. With a slop bin almost all that we throw away would be recycled. I’ve got two compost bins on the go and we take good stuff to charity shops too.

  • 5. Lucy  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Most of our food waste is “recycled” by the gannets at the table! Or the big Gannet picking in the kitchen at clear up time! AM a bit concerned about the problem with the black bins being fortnightly and the effect on the otherside of your street. It’s bad enough already. Love to G btw, sorry I was chatting on the mobile this morning, most ignorant xxx

  • 6. Mrs Green @  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Haha! Brilliant. How envious am I? You’re going to have a lot of fun with this and I hope it rolls out to the Forest soon!

  • 7. Nip it in the bud  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Miss M – I’m sure they’d argue ‘we can’t afford it’ but in the long term they can’t afford not to judging by the weight of the taxes.

    Karen – it’s all part of a bigger initiative to get more people recycling by collecting from their doorstep (yes there’s a lot of ‘can’t be bothered’ folk in Gloucester). Plastic bottles and thin cardboard food packaging can now go in our green boxes too and our black bins destined for landfill will only be collected fortnightly now.

    I don’t compost my egg shells because they’re said to attract rats. In the summer I wash, dry and crush them for sprinkling around seedlings favoured by slugs.

    Bilbo – I agree and sadly I know that most of the people in my street won’t bother. There are only 2 houses in our street that even put out green boxes so that tells you something about why we gladly move out of the city! I just focus on what I can do and refuse to get demoralised by other people’s lack of care. A story appeared in the local rag a couple of days ago and if comments on the website are anything to go by some residents are missing the point entirely.

    Ann – it’s a good force of habit isn’t it and I don’t really understand when people say they have no time for it. We’re frugal by choice and necessity and I sometimes get a little tired of the emphasis on recycling if it just gives people a supposedly ethical get out for continuing to buy more and more stuff. Reducing and re-using is a far more important message in my mind.

    Lucy – we love our house but sometimes living in our street really sucks and the issue of waste on the pavement is top of my bug bears. It’s so crap that bin liners are left on the street for the seagulls to rip open when wheelie bins are provided free. I’m bothered too because the bins are full each week exactly because no one except us and our neighbour even bothers recycling. I shall be on the blower to Environmental Health if it gets too nasty. Hmmmph, rant over.
    Hope you’re enjoying your Wii still – I’ll be round for a spot of wii boxing if the bin issue escallates!

    Mrs G – I’m sure living in such a beautiful place surrounded by greenery helps in making people more conscientious. Surrounded by bricks and tarmac in the city seems to stop people caring and our street is permanently littered with food wrappers from passers by. rrrrrrrrr

  • 8. Nic  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    That’s great! We have a brown bin scheme here too.
    Happpy New Year Nic!

  • 9. Choclette  |  January 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Nic – this sounds like a long overdue scheme and in a sane society we would never put food waste into landfill. Just seems a shame about the eggshells,as they are so full of calcium – we certainly compost ours.

  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Nic – Happy New Year to you too. You christmas pud rolls sounded delicious. Shame I’m a no bread gal

    Choclette – I had a batty home ec teacher at school who swore the most nutritious part of the egg was the shell. When she suggested we veggies grind them up to put in our cakes you can imagine the withering looks we gave her!

  • 11. Johanna GGG  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    how interesting – what a great initiative – I hope it will get people in your town thinking about landfill

  • 12. Sara  |  January 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    how proactive of your hometown. I wish we could pull something like that off where I live, but I know few people would coorperate. So sad. Great idea ~

  • 13. Maureen  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    We’re getting them in Tewkesbury Borough as well in April.
    At the moment I take it all down to my allotment, and will be glad to be relieved of the task
    (avoiding feeding the furry friends in my home compost over winter)

  • 14. shoestringalley  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    We got something similar last year. Not only is it a great and valuable idea but I also like the fact that I don’t go through the big black bin liners as fast!

  • 15. Margaret  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:45 am

    We too are about to get this new recycling bin. I think they are an excellent idea – the only downside, it is yet another bin!!!

  • 16. Nip it in the bud  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Johanna – me too!

    Sara – it makes me sad to think of all the people who say they can’t be bothered. So I just mind my own business and do what I can :o)

    Maureen – it’s been a blessing these last few weeks while the plot’s been out of bounds. I’ve been composting for years but have never actually used any of it back on my soil (suspect I have some furry friends dining out on it!). So I’m happy to send my farm ways.

    Shoestring – recycling definitely reduces what goes into the bin. Our black wheelie only goes out once every 2-3 weeks

    Margaret – good to see it’s going to become the norm. They’re not very big. The one that’s collected is about knee high


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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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