The Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has today announced its intentions to introduce nationwide weekly food waste collections.
The move follows the example of several local authorities, such as Bristol, as a means to increase recycling rates and reduce landfill emissions.
This development has been welcomed by the Bristol Liberal Democrats, who have pointed out the environmental damage and economic cost that has been enforced on the country whilst it waited to follow Bristol's example.
Cllr Gary Hopkins, Deputy Leader of the Bristol Lib Dem Group and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Waste & Environment in 2006, said:
"The Liberal Democrats introduced weekly food waste collection to Bristol in 2006. Many, but not all, councils have since followed, but in those 13 years how many tons of methane, which is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2, have been pumped into our air and how much energy has been wasted producing fertilisers that we have recovered from waste food?"
The Local Government Association warned the plans ‘need to be fully funded’. Latest figures show 248 out of 326 councils in England — 76 per cent — have only fortnightly rubbish collections.
Every year, it is estimated, the UK wastes 10 million tonnes of food with a value of over £17 billion. It is associated with around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Environmental groups have given their measured support for the scheme but have raised concerns over the perceived reliance on 'voluntary' measures.
Defra has said they will seek to address all raised concerns during the consultation in 2019.