THOUSANDS more homes in the Capital will be taken into the city’s food waste recycling system over the next few months as the scheme is extended to people living in flats and tenements.
The scheme aims to help cut greenhouse gases and reduce the millions of pounds spent by the council each year on sending waste to landfill.
By the end of the summer, the council says, almost the entire city will be included.
Council chiefs say with each household throwing away the equivalent of £450 of food each year, recycling food waste will also help residents save money. Most houses with their own wheelie bins have a kerbside food waste collection service, but that has not been widely available to residents in more high-density housing.
Now flats and tenements are being added to the scheme. An estimated 35,000 households will be given their own kitchen “caddies” in which to collect the food waste before depositing it in communal bins in the street.
Letters explaining how the food collection system works are being sent to each household. The caddies and large street containers will be delivered ward-by-ward between now and the end of May.
The council say the containers will be placed at existing bin points, either on the street or in bin stores, to create as little impact as possible.
Environment committee vice-convener Jim Orr, pictured, said: “Recycling is an integral part of everyday life and the amount of waste being recycled in Edinburgh has practically doubled in recent years.
“It is vital that it is as easy as possible for residents to recycle, and bringing it to their doors could not be simpler.”
He said the public had been very supportive of food waste recycling.
“It is surprisingly easy and hygienic, as the caddies are small so need to be emptied more regularly than larger kitchen bins.
“Separating food waste from residual waste will make a huge difference to the amount being placed into bins and ending up in landfill.
“Last year, this council spent over £13m on sending waste to landfill. This is money that would be far better spent on improving local services.
“Sticking to the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message will help individuals in Edinburgh to stop wasting food – the equivalent of each resident throwing around £35 each week into the bin.”
Cllr Orr said that experience elsewhere has shown that households which recycle their food waste become far more aware of how much money they are spending on food which ends up in the bin.