District councillors have backed a bid that could result in the rolling out of a food waste collection service in parts of South Norfolk.

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Cabinet members at South Norfolk Council today rubberstamped a proposal to go-ahead with an application for government funds, which would pay for a three year trial.

Officers at the council are seeking more than £500,000 from a £250m pot of Department for Communities and Local Government cash for improving waste collection services.

John Fuller, South Norfolk Council leader, said: “Weekly bin collections are close to the secretary of state’s heart. I do not think there is any prospect of us going back to weekly collections, but there is a £250 million fund to enable councils to make improvements to deal with smelly waste.”

The district council is working on a bid for funding with Norwich City Council and Broadland District Council on the food waste collection scheme.

If successful, the funding will help pay for the purchase of specialist vehicles and caddies to collect food waste from around 17,000 households to mainly the southern fringe of Norwich, including Costessey and Wymondham.

The first three years would be paid for by the government grant, if successful. However, after that the estimated extra cost to South Norfolk Council taxpayers would be £115,000 a year, councillors were told.

Officers are concentrating on delivering a food collection service in more urban parts of the district, which may not have gardens and composting facilities.

Keith Kiddie, portfolio holder for environment and regulation, added that food waste collection was “a very popular way to go” and the council could collect 1,000 tonnes of food waste a year by serving 17,000 homes, which would add an estimated 2pc on to the authority’s recycling rate.

South Norfolk Council currently recycles 41pc of the waste it collects.

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