Sustainability

UK’s ‘first’ food recycling reward scheme launches

Residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead can from today (22 April), earn rewards for recycling their food waste in the ‘first’ UK scheme of its kind. 

Funded by a grant of £566,000 from Eric Pickles’ Weekly Collection Support Scheme, the reward scheme is being run by the Royal Borough in association with recycling reward company Recyclebank, in the hopes of boosting the area’s recycling rates (2012 rates for the borough sat at 49 per cent). 

Under the scheme, residents with online Recyclebank accounts can earn 25 reward points per month (and up to a maximum of 300 points per year) for putting out their food waste for collection. 

Points can later be redeemed as offers and discounts in both national and local shops, businesses and leisure centres. 

The council has pledged to award additional points to residents every three months, based on the total amount of domestic food waste recycled within the borough over that period. 

As well as the reward scheme, from today flat dwellers can now recycle their food waste after the introduction of new communal outdoor bins and kitchen caddies.

Composting food waste

Every tonne of food waste ‘saves £35’ 

Speaking of the scheme, Councillor Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services, said: "This is a great opportunity to expand the rewards scheme so that residents can reap even more benefits for their good green habits. 

"We currently recycle and compost 49 per cent of our waste. The extension of the rewards scheme made possible by the grant is sure to be a huge help in raising that figure even higher, and that is good news for our residents, local businesses and the environment alike." 

According to the council, before food waste recycling was introduced, it made up ‘more than a third’ of waste being sent to landfill. In the first six months of the food waste collection service’s implementation, a reported 900 tonnes of food waste were diverted from landfill. 

Collected food waste is made into agricultural fertiliser at Agrivert’s anaerobic digestion plant in Cassington, Oxfordshire. 

Councillor Cox added: "Sending food waste to landfill is simply not sustainable. Recycling our food can reduce these damaging greenhouse gases while saving money and natural resources. 

"At today's prices every one tonne of food waste collected will save the council approximately £35 in waste disposal costs so this is great news for our council taxpayers." 

Those wishing to sign up to the scheme can do so signing up to Recyclebank. Further information can be found by visiting the council’s website or by calling 01628 683801.