Government Rejects £100m Cost of Weekly Collections

Eric Pickles the Communities Secretary has rejected central government picking up the estimated £100 m  cost of returning councils back to weekly collections in many parts of the country.   Another broken election promise maybe and false economy due to the potentially increased health hazards.  But why is it so unpopular?  For 2 reasons: 1) the large increase in vermin, insects and bad odour resulting from rotting food leading to the transmission of nasty diseases and 2) the extra space needed to store another week’s waste.   However, there is a really great environmentally friendly solution to both of these problems ……

Please step forward….  Waste Disposal Units!   If all homes had a waste disposal unit installed then virtually all the food waste created could be disposed of immediately by sending it to the sewage works.  Here it gets recycled into biogas using anaerobic digestion which is in turn used to generate electricity.  Inert recyclables do not pose any odour or health problem ie plastic, paper, tin and bottles.  Anything remaining will take up a very small space and also will not smell or attract vermin.  Bin collections can then easily be made every 2, 3 or even 4 weeks thus continuing to save councils money.  The reduction in bulk taken by food waste is substantial as we experienced ourselves when our waste dropped from 4 bags/week to half a bag after we installed a disposer.  The picture shows our typical bin collection from a family of 5 in 2 weeks.  Disposers use only minuscule amounts of water and electricity and budget models start from just £90 although it is well worth investing in a decent one with a min of 5 years guarantee .  With none of the drawbacks of composting ie space used, problems with fat and odours, waste disposers are the perfect solution.

A further benefit for the council will be collecting a much reduced volume of waste.  This reduces truck movements, staff costs and saves even more money on landfill costs.  Furthermore, there are major benefits to the environment due to the reduction in methane and other greenhouse gases that are now avoided.  No wonder many countries, especially those who have taken the lead on environmental issues such as California and Sweden, are now mandating the use of waste disposers.  How long will it be before the UK government and local councils wake up and adopt a similar policy?