BOURNEMOUTH’S new food waste collections have been hailed a success after 162 tonnes of rubbish were collected in the first month.

However, the first few weeks have also seen its fair share of teething problems, with around 800 food containers accidentally taken to landfill or returned to the wrong household.

The new scheme was funded with £7million of government money and has seen Bourne-mouth residents issued with a kitchen caddy and food waste container.

The food waste is composted into a high quality soil improver and renewable energy. The amount of energy generated from the waste collected so far is equal to the total power use for 11 households for a year.

Initial findings show that residents in Kings Park and Boscombe have been among the most active in taking up the scheme.

Cllr Michael Filer, cabinet member for waste, said: “We’re delighted that so many people are using the service and their new food waste containers.

“The more people use it, the more food waste we can divert to make high quality compost and to generate electricity.

“It also reduces the amount money we spend on disposing of general rubbish, which means it is available for other front line services.”

The first month has also seen problems with refuse workers accidentally throwing the food waste containers on to the back of the trucks or returning them to the wrong households.

Bournemouth council said it had built a contingency fund into the scheme and were replacing lost containers free of charge within 48 hours.

Reg Hutton, head of waste operations, said: “Since its launch, the council has collected food waste from 60,000 Bournemouth households on a weekly basis, amounting to almost 300,000 bins emptied overall.

“Some 800 reports of missing food waste containers have been received during this time equating to just 0.26 per cent of all household collections “Like any scheme of this magnitude the council anticipated some issues in rolling out the new operation.

“We are continuing to support residents and staff, whilst closely monitoring the scheme to identify any issues and additional training needs.”