Green recycling at home – what is changing.

In May 2021 the Government unveiled a major shake-up of England’s bin collections to make it easier for millions of householders to recycle.

If you do not get weekly, separate food waste collections then you will shortly. It will be mandatory for all English Local Authority to provide food waste bins from 2023.

In Wales, all homes already have food waste collections.

In the 37 Local Authorities in the South West of England, there is good progress with all Local Authorities either already providing food waste collections, or in the process of rolling them out.

Furthermore, the Government has legislated that by 31 December 2023 certified compostable waste can be included with this food waste.

What are the benefits. The Government has a plan.

· Government will support councils to ensure that food waste is collected weekly rather than every fortnight.

· Regular weekly organic and food waste collections will stop the build-up of smelly waste that attracts flies and pests. This is especially important in urban areas with less space to place bins and homes that have small or no gardens.

· Government believes that this shake-up will boost recycling rates and ensure less rubbish is condemned to landfill.

· Government will set out plans to make recycling easier with a clear list of materials that all English Local Authorities must collect from homes and businesses.

How does this help the environment?

Food Waste makes up about 20% of the waste buried in landfill.  The waste is initially broken down by aerobic bacteria – bacteria that live only in the presence of Oxygen— they consume Oxygen while breaking down the long molecular chains of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids that comprise organic waste. This produces Carbon Dioxide.

However, when the Oxygen is used up then anaerobic bacteria take over. This phase of the decomposition starts to produce acids and alcohols such as Methanol. Another type of bacteria begins to establish at this stage which produces Methane. The gases emitted by landfill are approx. 50% Methane, with the balance mainly Carbon Dioxide.

In terms of climate change, Methane is arguably the most harmful greenhouse gas. For the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere it has 80 times the impact on global warming compared to Carbon Dioxide. Methane reduction is recognised as a crucial opportunity in the climate fight.

For this reason, the Government has set demanding targets to progressively reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Compostable materials will be banned from landfill by 2025 and landfilling ceasing in 2040.

A word on soil

Green recycling is often practised at home, I am a passionate composter. Composting seems so simple with such clear benefits. For me it is fun but also like converting water into wine.

More and more of my own household waste is being composted at home, this produces in turn around 7 cubic meters (a large skip) every year of compost ideal for soil conditioning, plant containers and our Oak tree nursery. Westaway Sausages unique compostable packaging is ideal to compost at home.

Soil is attracting more and more interest, as an essential ingredient to fight climate change, it really is “Black Gold”.

I predict the end of landfills and I really hope for a new gold rush. We can all do our bit.