Stratford and Warwick Councils celebrate success of new separate food waste collection service

Press Release

Published on 27 January 2023
Archived on 27 February 2023

Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council have proved themselves ahead of the game when it comes to collecting food waste.    

The Environment Act 2021, which comes fully into effect on 1 April this year, introduces changes to waste collection which means that food waste - must be collected separately from other household waste at least once a week.   

The two District Councils introduced a new joint separate food collection service on 1 August 2022.  

The 123+ service has been delivered through a waste contract with Biffa Waste Services Ltd and has already proved highly successful.

Since the inception of the scheme in August 2022, a total of 4,412.48 tonnes of waste has been collected.

The Stratford and Warwick household food waste is treated at Severn Trent Green Power's Coleshill anaerobic digestion facility. Anaerobic digestion is a process through which specialist bacteria break down organic matter - such as food waste - in the absence of oxygen and produce biogas. 

The Coleshill facility can treat up to 50,000 tonnes of household and commercial food waste each year, which is enough to generate 2.4 Megawatts of electricity.  

The biogas produced from this process is either converted to electricity and exported to the national electricity grid or further treated and exported to the national gas grid, supplying homes and businesses with renewable energy. In addition, the process also creates a nutrient-rich liquid bio-fertiliser which is used by UK farmers to help grow the fruit and vegetables that end up back on our plates.

The forecast food waste tonnage for this contract means that Warwickshire residents will be powering the equivalent of 1,024 homes for a year with green energy, this is also the equivalent of 8,997 tonnes of carbon not emitted to the atmosphere compared to the same amount of food waste going into landfill.

In the two weeks between Christmas and New Year, nearly 460 tonnes of food waste was collected separately across the two districts.

Waste collected from 27 December to 6 January:  

  • Food                    459.46 tonnes (229.73 tonnes each week)
  • Recycling            1,191.88 tonnes  
  • Refuse                1,173.26 tonnes   

This compares to an average of 188 tonnes collected every week since the 1st August, an increase of 42 tonnes per week of food waste over the Christmas period.

Cllr Bill Fleming, Portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change at Stratford-on-Avon District Council said:  "We are proud to be proactive in collecting food waste so far ahead of the legal requirement to do so.

"But while we have worked with partners to help reduce food waste, a certain amount is inevitable, so it's wonderful that so many residents are using the new service and recycling, and renewable energy is coming from it while landfill waste is kept to a minimum.  A real win-win."

Warwick District Council's Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Moira-Ann Grainger said:

"The new 123+ waste and recycling service has been a real game changer for our district, significantly increasing recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. It is important that we all do what we can to reduce the impact we have on the environment and the switch to weekly food waste collections means that our left-over food is now put to other uses such as making fertiliser or generating electricity rather creating harmful greenhouse gases. I want to extend our thanks to local residents who have played such an important part in the success of the new service."

Find out more about what happens to household food waste after collection.

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 30/01/2023