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Food and garden waste collections are improving in Autumn 2022

Food and garden waste collections are being improved in Autumn 2022 to help tackle climate change in the borough.

Climate Change Basildon 2030 - Full width banner image
Following a consultation in Summer 2021, Basildon Council is introducing a weekly food waste collection using a new fleet of purpose-built electric vehicles this autumn. With resident's support, it will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and protect our environment.

Decorative image showing Food waste bin
Decorative image showing garden waste bin
The improved arrangements are:  

  • A weekly food waste collection service collected via electric vehicles. Households will be provided with a 23-litre outdoor caddy and a 5-litre kitchen caddy for indoor use, and 50 compostable kitchen caddy liners annually to each property
  • A fortnightly garden waste collection, collected via your current 240 litre green wheelie bins (and/or compostable garden waste sacks) 

We are aiming to introduce these collections in Autumn 2022, with containers being delivered to all properties in advance. We will keep you updated on specific dates, and you will receive leaflets detailing the improvements and dates.

It is important to note these changes only affects those properties which already receive a food and garden waste collection service.

How to stay up to date with the service

Frequently asked questions

Climate and Environment: We are working hard to become a carbon net-zero authority by 2030 with a borough target of achieving carbon net-zero status by 2050. Separation of food waste for recycling will help to reduce our environmental impact. Increasing the amount of food waste being recycled and reducing the amount of food waste ending up in landfill should significantly reduce the council's and borough's carbon emissions.     

Cleaner streets: The council is aiming to reduce the amount of food waste in black sack collections, which will help to decrease the number of black sacks being ripped by animals. 

Recycling targets:  We have been set clear targets by The Circular Economy Package, which commit the UK to achieve a recycling rate of 65% by 2035, an ambition we have adopted in Basildon. Basildon's current recycling rate is only 47%. Introducing separate food waste collections, should reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in black sack collections.

Financial: The separation of these materials means significant increased costs to the council due to additional crews, vehicles and disposal costs. If the council was to separate food and garden waste and keep them both weekly, it would cost an additional £1.1m per annum. Introducing a fortnightly garden waste collection service, reduces this additional cost by around £500,000 a year.  

Legislation: Due to the new Environment Act (2021), all waste collection authorities will be required to collect food and garden waste separately, with food waste being collected weekly.  

From Autumn 2022 we will no longer accept food waste in residual waste (black bag) collections. Please use your external food waste container to be collected weekly instead, and continue to use your existing green bin for your garden waste. 

Environment: Collecting food waste separately improves the amount of energy that can be generated from waste. Methane is captured during the treatment process and used to generate electricity. It should also reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in black sack collections, which currently makes up more than 1/3 of residual waste materials. When food waste goes to landfill, it generates a significant amount of greenhouse emissions.

Operations: Due to the new legislation and the way that many other councils collect food and garden waste, treatments facilities for composting mixed food and garden waste are unlikely to exist. From 2022, Basildon Council will no longer have anywhere to dispose of food and garden waste collected together.

Cleaner streets: The council is aiming to reduce the amount of food waste in black sack collections, making the contents less appealing to foraging animals and reducing the amount of black sacks being ripped open by animals. Experience from other councils has shown that residents using separate food waste collections are less likely to put food waste in black sacks.

Legislation: Due to the Government's Environment Act (2021), all waste collection authorities will be required to collect food separately and on a weekly basis.

Financial: Food waste is more expensive to treat than garden waste. If they are mixed together all of the waste has to be treated as food waste and therefore treatment is at the higher cost.  As garden waste can account for over 2/3 of the tonnage, significant amounts of waste has to be treated at the higher cost unnecessarily.

Environment: Introducing a separate food waste service means that the council will have seven additional waste collection vehicles on the road. By reducing the frequency of garden waste collections and introducing electric vehicles to our food waste service, we are reducing the total impact the service has on the environment. The advantage to the environment by recycling food waste outweighs any negatives of using additional vehicles.

Financial: The separation of these materials means significantly increased costs to the council due to additional crews, vehicles, and disposal costs. If the council was to separate food and garden waste and keep them both weekly it would cost an additional £1.1m per annum. Introducing a fortnightly garden waste collection service reduces this additional cost by around £500,000.

Your food waste will be collected on the same day as your other weekly waste collections. Whenever your indoor 5 litre kitchen caddy is full, you will need to transfer the food waste to your outdoor 23 litre caddy, which has a lockable lid to keep it closed and sealed.

On the day of collection, residents will be asked to place their 23 litre outdoor caddy at the edge of their property. Crews will collect, dispose of the food waste, and return your food caddy to the edge of your property.

Food waste collected separately is typically sent to be treated via an Anaerobic Digestion Plant. These plants uses microorganisms to break down food waste in an enclosed system. As it breaks down it gives off methane, which is collected and converted into biogas. This is used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuels. It also creates a nutrient-rich digestate that is used as a fertiliser on local agricultural land to produce local food.

Recycling food waste compared to sending waste to landfill is a huge benefit to the environment.

Yes, we consulted with the public in Summer 2021 and received over 7000 responses from residents. The results of the consultation were positive to the proposed changes.

You can check Rubbish and recycling for updates, follow us on social media @basildoncouncil on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up to our weekly local news enewsletter at: Sign-up here to subscribe to keep in touch e-news 

We will provide households with a 5 litre kitchen caddy - with a new one being delivered to all households.

We will also provide a 23 litre outdoor caddy - these are larger ones that you keep outside that fit between four and five bags of food waste. These have a lockable lid to stop scavenging animals getting into your food container. 

Both containers are made from recycled plastic containers.

If you still have the one issued a number of years ago, we will have collection points set up across the borough for you to take these to where they will be recycled and turned into new recycling containers.

Delivery of our new food waste caddies will start in July with the first area of delivery being to Wickford. The crews will then deliver to Billericay, Laindon, and Basildon before concluding in Pitsea over an eight to ten week period. 

If others on your street or estate have received one and you feel we may have missed your property, please contact our Waste and Recycling team at: recycling@basildon.gov.uk

We will provide 50 kitchen caddy compostable liners every year to help kickstart the service. Additional liners can be purchased via the council or main retail and supermarket stores, as long as these are compostable. It is also possible to use newspaper to line your caddy. Using food liners or newspapers will help keep the caddy cleaner.

You can call the Customer Services Centre on 01268 533 333 who will be able to assist you over the phone with the completion of a survey. Alternatively, you can email recycling@basildon.gov.uk with your query.