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Successful food composting scheme continued in the High Peak

Published: 1 July 2019

We’re continuing a food waste composting scheme in partnership with High Peak Borough Council. 

Free compostable food bags are given to households so cooked and raw food waste can be separated from general waste and placed in their green-lidded bin.

The scheme was successfully trialled in 7,000 households in Glossop in 2017 and extended to another 7,000 households in Buxton in 2018. It will now continue for at least another six months and it is hoped to extend it to other parts of the High Peak in 2020.

Each year in Derbyshire, residents throw more than 57,000 tonnes of food waste in their non-recycling bins costing Derbyshire council tax-payers more than £7.5m per year in disposal costs. We're able to compost this food waste helping to cut these costs.

Householders in Glossop and Buxton have composted more food waste by having the compostable bags showing that this is a convenient way for residents to collect up their food waste before putting it in the green-lidded bin.

In Glossop, where the scheme has been running for over a year, 195 tonnes of food waste is being composted annually compared to 57 tonnes before the scheme started. In the first five months of the Buxton trial, 41 tonnes of food waste have been composted compared to 22 tonnes in the same period in the previous year. These add up to a total of 157 tonnes of food waste being composted rather than going to landfill. An equivalent weight of over 13 double-decker buses! All because householders are diverting half a kilogramme of food waste each week into their green-lidded bin.

This composted food waste is a valuable resource. It’s rich in nutrients and organic matter and is being spread on agricultural land in the Buxton area reducing the need for artificially produced fertilisers.

Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor Simon Spencer, said:

“It’s great that this trial has encouraged so many people to compost more of their food waste. I hope the figures continue to rise and we will be able to further extend the scheme to other households in the High Peak area.

“We’re always looking for ways to make recycling and composting easier for residents and this is a good example. Separating food waste for composting is good news for the environment and will help reduce the £7.5m cost per year to Derbyshire council tax-payers in waste disposal fees.”

Residents can put tea bags, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable peelings into their compostable food bags as they cook, and when they’ve eaten simply scrape any unwanted scraps and leftovers in there too.

Read more about the food recycling scheme. Get tips and tricks on how to reduce food waste and there’s a quick quiz to test residents’ knowledge on food waste.

Jean Todd, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and Community Safety at High Peak Borough Council, said:

“Composting food waste has a brilliant environmental benefit so it’s good news that this scheme is going to continue in Glossop and Buxton. I’d like to say a big thanks to all those who have increased their food composting so far and encourage all households to use this great service.’’

Read more about recycling in Derbyshire.