The Assistant Director (Operational and Commercial Services)

The Assistant Director (Operational and Commercial Services)



The Assistant Director (Operational and Commercial Services),

Environment and Community Safety Directorate


Lead Member for Enviornment


Monday11th April 2011

TITLE:Food Waste Collections


That Lead Member approves the commencement of food waste collections, on a pilot basis, during 2011/12, as follows:

1. With effect from Saturday 4th June 2011, incorporating collections with garden waste (black bin with magenta lid), from 10,000 gardened properties across the city, within Worsley and Boothstown and Irlam and Cadishead Wards.

2. With effect from the 3rd September 2011,incorporating collections with garden waste (black bin with magenta lid), for the remaining additional 36,000 gardened properties across the city.

3. The Council continues to promote home composting.

The proposals at this stage do not take into account the collection of food waste in the remaining 60,000 approximate properties across Salford (i.e. those that do not have gardens). It is recommended that detailed consideration to this be given prior to March 2012, post the evaluation of the pilot.


Waste management in the Greater Manchester region is undergoing significant changes with an ultimate aim to achieve ‘zero waste’. The provision of new multi-million pound regional waste management technologies have been necessitated by recently introduced national policies that recognise that the UK is producing and land-filling too much waste.

This realisation has led to the need to develop an alternative approach to how we have to deal with future waste production. From June 2011 the Greater Manchester infrastructure will enable the collection of food waste, which will assist to increase recycling and reduce waste sent to landfill, improving the environment and avoiding significant costs in the future.

The City Council has made significant investment in waste management technologies and is now in a position to take advantage of these. It is proposed to implement the collection of food waste on a pilot basis, in two initial phases, which will, by March 2012, have resulted in 46,000 properties across Salford being able to dispose of food waste and enable it to be recycled.

This pilot scheme will improve the City’s recycling rate, by up to circa 5% in a full year period.

This report details the proposed way forward, for the City Council.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS: Greater Manchester Municipal Waste Strategy,

WRAP Food Waste collection report


KEY COUNCIL POLICIES: Climate Change Strategy


A Community Impact Assessment has been completed on the council’s proposed Waste Strategy, and this assessment considers the proposals for food waste recycling and will ensure that residents who receive the assisted collection service are able to access the food waste scheme and will make provision for ensuring that marketing and communications materials are accessible to non-English speakers. As with all such roll outs of a new service, the equality impacts will be reviewed on an on going basis.

ASSESSMENT OF RISK: Medium – success depends upon customer participation.

SOURCE OF FUNDING: No additional funding required during 2011/12.



In terms of the content and specific proposals within this report for food waste collections there are no additional costs to be incurred from introducing food waste collections, with green waste collections in 2011/12.

It is however proposed to incur some cost during 2010/11 for the purchase of caddies and biodegradable bags, which are referred to in the main body of the report, at an estimated cost of £20,000.

If the service is rolled out, at a later date to non garden properties, then there will be a significant cost for caddies and biodegradable bags, in addition to increased collections costs – exact costs have yet to be determined.

The City Council can reduce its disposal costs by implementing this collection stream, via avoidance of landfill.

Whilst there will be no reduction in 2011/12, it is expected that with an anticipated full year roll out in 2012/13, the disposal levy to the City Council could reduce by approximately £250,000.




  • Phase One: Irlam and Cadishead and Worsley and Boothstown
  • Phase Two – All wards




In the last few years, the critical need for change in the way we deal with our waste has been driven by a number of important factors. This includes:

  • The rising costs of burying waste in landfill sites.
  • Stringent recycling and waste reduction targets set by the EU and UK government.
  • The risk of significant financial penalties if these targetsare not met.
  • The growing problems associated with dealing with raw materials, such as oils, timber and metal ores.
  • The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are a significant contributor to climate change.
  • Growing public demand that society treats the planet and its natural resources, with more respect if we are to avoid the growing catalogue of natural disasters.

Regional developments

Salford City Council’s waste disposal services are carried out by Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), a partner organisation of Greater Manchester councils.

The Greater Manchester Municipal Waste Management Strategy was adopted by GMWDA in 2007. Its central aims include:

  • reducing growth waste to 1% per annum by 2010
  • reducing growth in waste to 0% by 2020
  • increasing recycling and composting rates to 40% by 2010 and to at least 50% by 2020

The strategy will contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change. It is expected that by 2020, over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be avoided by using better waste management methods. There are two principal means of reducing emissions. Firstly, sending less biodegradable waste to landfill avoids the release of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and secondly, recycling reduces the need to extract raw materials resulting in far fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

The waste disposal PFI will provide the facilities to enable Salford and other Greater Manchester authorities to collect food waste and dispose of it via In-Vessel Composters, which will be based in Trafford and Bolton, the former from May 2011 and the latter from September 2011.

Salford City Council, as part of the Greater Manchester Municipal Waste Management Strategy is committed to introducing the separate collection of food waste.

Food Waste

National statistics indicate that householders currently throw up to £400 worth of potential edible food away each year (around 22.5% of residual waste) which equates to around £25,000 in a lifetime. Throwing away food creates unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions created by producing, processing, transporting and storing food. Nationally, if we stop throwing away food or compost it at home, we could make carbon dioxide emission savings equivalent to taking an estimated one in five cars off the road.

The council will also continue to promote home compostingas an alternative to throwing away leftover food and garden waste.Even for households that are already composting, new research has found that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been composted. Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for the garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, while helping to suppress plant disease.

At the same time, composting also brings a number of environmental benefits as when waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste, which consequently creates the harmful greenhouse gas, methane when it begins to break down. However, by encouraging residents to compost this same organic waste above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically which means hardly any methane is produced which is better for the atmosphere.

Therefore, to encourage greater take up, the Greater Manchester Waste Partnership has teamed up with, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of recycling and water conservation products to offer Salford residents the opportunity to purchase home composting bins and water butts at a substantially reduced price ofaround £20, dependant on the size of the container, which the council will continue to promote to residents as an alternative method of recycling food and garden waste.

In conjunction with this however, from May 2011 there will be a structure in place to enable Salford collections of food waste to be recycled. In Greater Manchester, all of the local authorities will be introducing food waste collections by 2012.

WRAP have recently undertaken some extensive research and pilots with local authorities into food waste collections, the nearest to Salford being Oldham. The implementation proposals for food waste collections, in Salford, are based on this research and best practice.

From this researchit appears that most will be adopting a mixed system of collection with both garden waste and food waste in the same container, from those properties where this is possible, with the intention at a later date, although some now, to introduce separate containers for non-garden properties. With regards to frequency of collections nationally, 61% of authorities nationally currently adopt a fortnightly collection. Participation rates for food waste collection currently range between 23% and 100%, with an average of 66% and the WRAP pilot work confirms this.

Salford’s Proposals

It is proposed to implement the collection of food waste in two initial phases, which will, by March 2012, have resulted in 46,000 properties across Salford being able to dispose of food waste and enable it to be recycled.

Phase One

4th June 2011 – Commence collecting food waste, WITH Green Waste on a fortnightly basis, as current collection schedule, to 10,000 garden waste properties across the city in the following areas:

  • Irlam and Cadishead
  • Worsley and Boothstown

Phase Two

3rd September 2011– Commence collecting food waste, with Green waste in the remaining 36,000 garden waste properties across the city.

Both phases’ will be delivered within existing budget in 2011/12, as residents will simply deposit the food waste in with the garden waste, which will be collected, to the current timescales.

The initial target after the pilot year of launching the food waste collection scheme in full would be to achieve a 50% participation rate.

In the introductory stages of the new service, only those households which currently have a garden waste collection will be included (around 46,000 households).

The proposals in phase one and two are to encourage residents to deposit food waste direct into the garden waste bin, without the need for a kitchen caddy. However it is proposed to order a stock of caddies and biodegradable bags, which will be available for issuing to residents on a request basis.

WRAP guidance evidences that the greater take up across those councils that have piloted food waste have used caddy’s, however there is a cost to such implementation, and it would delay the roll out and would mean households having yet another bin in their homes. It is accepted however that some residents may prefer caddies and bags, hence the proposal to have a stock in hand.

The pilot scheme in phase one and two will be used to measure resident take up and gauge success. If it is considered that take up is not as good as planned then the use of caddy’s can be revisited prior to full year roll out across the 46,000 gardened properties from April 2012, on an invest to save basis.


Whilst assurances are being made from the Greater Manchester Disposal Authority (GMWDA) that the Nash Road IVC will be ready by mid May, to enable Salford to commence roll out of its pilot scheme from the 4th June 2011, there is clearly a risk if a problem surfaces before then and the facility is delayed.

However following a conversation with the GMWDA, officers have been assured that even if the facility is not open, the City Council will still be able to deliver the waste to the facility and they will arrange any transfer loading to another facility, at no cost to the City Council.

Marketing Campaign

We will undertake various, on-going marketing activities to promote the new service to the residents of eligible households. This activity will boost take-up of the new food waste recycling service, and will also inform residents how to use the service correctly.

A variety of media and methods will be used to promote the new service, including:

  • Advertisements / editorial in the council’s magazine, Life in Salford
  • Posters displayed in prominent public buildings
  • Road shows and events hosted by the council’s Waste Awareness Team
  • Website features: dedicated web pages on the council website, home page stories, hot links and potential use of social media
  • Internal promotions such as intranet home page stories, intranet hot links, and desk top adverts
  • Call centre staff to inform residents of changes to the service, by providing briefings to callers who are eligible for the service
  • Information packs posted to eligible households
  • Stickers to be placed on bins with details of the service
  • Press Releases to be sent to local newspapers

The marketing activity will begin in March 2011 and will continue through to October 2011. There is also scope to continue with marketing post October, if we consider this to be necessary.

In addition to the marketing to residents, briefing sessions will be offered to elected members and to key council officers, such as Neighbourhood Managers, to ensure that they are aware of the additional service.

All of the above methods were used, successfully, for the roll out of Salford’s recycling service.

Future Roll Out

The proposals at this stage do not take into account the collection of food waste in the remaining 60,000 approximate properties across Salford (i.e. those that do not have gardens). It is proposed to evaluate the success of the pilot scheme during 2011/12 and consider ahead of 2012/13 the future proposals.

Recycling in Salford

The City Council has made considerable progress with diverting waste from landfill and increase recycling performance from 12.04% in 2004/05 to 32.09% in 2009/10, with a projection for 2010/11 at 34%.

There is still much to do however, if Salford is going to achieve the expected target of 50% recycling by 2020. Standing still is not an option and the collection of food waste is one area where recycling can be increased, without any additional collection cost in 2011/12.

Potential Results

It is estimated that the success of the pilot food waste scheme to the full 46,000 gardened properties will result in up to 5,000 tonnes of food waste being collected and processed during a full 12 month period, which will add a further 5% to the city’s recycling rate.

Potential cost avoidance,from the collection of food waste

Based on the projected 5,000 tonnes of food waste being collected and processed, it is estimated that from 2012/13 the disposal levy will be reduced by approximately £250,000.