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Preparation work to start on introducing food waste collections to Chichester District

The green light has been given to start initial work on a major project to introduce weekly food waste collections across Chichester District.

Food waste

At their meeting on 19 March 2024 councillors approved a plan for the work and agreed to release just over £1.3 million from the council's general reserves to help kick start the project. Councillors also agreed that officers could go ahead and start priority work to acquire the specialist vehicles; containers and other equipment that will be needed for the collections.

"Back in 2021 the Government made it a legal requirement for all councils across England to introduce weekly food waste collections, and confirmed in October 2023 that the new service requirement must be provided by the end of March 2026," explains Councillor Adrian Moss, Leader of Chichester District Council. "Introducing a new service like this across the whole of the district is a major undertaking and will require a significant amount of preparation work before the physical roll-out of the collections can take place. Government grant funding is also being released to support the implementation and running costs of the new service.

"Two years sounds like a long time, but there is much work to be done on a project of this scale, and it will be a challenging project for our teams. The last time that residents experienced such a big service change was 21 years ago when we introduced alternate recycling and domestic waste collections. This new service will affect every resident in the district and so it's vital that we get started on this project as soon as we can.

"Todays' decision and discussion has been about setting out the key stages of the project. It takes a considerable amount of time to acquire the right equipment for services like this which is why we want to prioritise this work, starting now."

Initial work will include setting up a special Project Board to oversee the work. The project will include various stages including buying new vehicles and bins; looking at how the new service will be accommodated on the depot site; waste transfer and processing points; designing efficient rounds; recruiting and training extra staff; and, the roll-out approach to residents.

Once the collections are introduced the council expects that household recycling rates will increase by up to 10% as a direct result of the new service. This in turn is expected to reduce residual waste by approximately 18% from 25,200 tonnes to 20,400 tonnes.

Research carried out nationally shows that UK households produce around seven million tonnes of food waste each year - five million tonnes is categorised as still edible and two million tonnes as inedible.

Waste composition analyses carried out by the West Sussex Waste Partnership (WSWP) in 2018 and 2021 identified food waste as the largest category of waste remaining in people's domestic bins. In Chichester District, the analyses found that more than 37% (equivalent of 2.20 kg/per household/per week) of the average domestic waste bin was food waste.


Date of Release: 20 March 2024