A new food waste collection scheme launched on Monday to encourage Bournemouth residents to recycle more and reduce their level of food waste.

The new service is cost-effective as it decreases the amount of public money spent on disposing food waste and sending to landfill. Sarah Speakman-Jones, Senior Waste and Resource Officer, said: “The new collection will boost our recycling rate, reduce the amount of biodegradable waste that goes into the rubbish stream and will save money on treatment costs by recycling it rather than throwing it away.”

Bournemouth Borough Council applied to the Government’s Weekly Collection Support scheme in 2012 to pay for the new service. They successfully received £7.1m and the majority of the money is being used to enhance the previous ‘Big bin, Little Bin’ scheme. Sarah said: “A group of council officers looked at how best we can enhance our recycling while keeping the weekly rubbish collections, which is really important to Bournemouth residents.”

Both raw and cooked food can be recycled in the scheme. Georgina Fry, Waste and Resource Project Manager, said: “It is not just items that you can usually compost like egg shells, vegetables and fruit peelings. It’s all sorts of food including meat, fish, dairy items, bakery items, plate scrapings, pasta and rice. Any food waste at all can go into the food waste container.

The food waste collections have been widely promoted around Bournemouth. Sarah added: “‘I have just come back from a library in Bournemouth where several people came to see me talk and we actually had a theatre show come from London which was specifically designed around food waste. We have also been to ten schools in January and really seemed to get the message across about food waste.”

Bournemouth residents who own a ‘Big bin’ and ‘Little bin’ have received a food waste collection container, which can sit inside the resident’s little bin, or stand separately to allow more waste to be put into the rubbish bin. The new service is also providing a small kitchen caddy, lined with new compostable bags, which saves residents trips to their outside container. A 23 litre bin has also been delivered to larger households that produce more food waste such as bigger families or larger student properties.

The food waste collections in Bournemouth are sent to Eco Sustainable Solutions in Dorset, where it is composted by Anaerobic Digestion. The gases created in the process are used to create energy in the national grid and produce electricity. At the end of the process, a liquid compost is formed which is used as a soil improver for farmers.

Residents of Bournemouth who live in either private, council or housing accommodation blocks of flats with communal bins are left with the option of joining the scheme. If they choose to apply, the council will need to visit the site and allocate suitable containers for the collections.

On Saturday 8th March Bournemouth Borough Council are holding an event in Bournemouth Square to celebrate the launch of the new food waste collections. A local dance school will be performing and the Mayor of Bournemouth will be cutting a celebratory cake.