Extra 800 tonnes of food waste recycled as Norwich campaign ‘exceeds all expectations’
- Credit: Simon Finlay Photography
A drive to get more people in Norwich to recycle food has 'exceeded all expectations', with more than 800 tonnes of extra waste collected.
The Feed Your Caddie campaign, launched by Norwich City Council, has seen a 42pc increase in the amount of leftover food collected and more than 10,000 requests for caddies to put food waste in.
The council launched food waste collections in 2011, but only about 2,000 tonnes of food waste was being collected each year.
But the launch of the campaign, which saw more than 50,000 homes given a free roll of caddy liners, has seen a surge in people using the service.
Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe city environment at City Hall, said: 'The results have exceeded all expectations. I am absolutely delighted with the response from residents to our campaign to reduce the amount of food waste which is thrown away.
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'Ideally we'd all be producing less food waste in the first place, but for the unavoidable leftovers, using your kitchen caddy makes perfect sense.'
At a meeting at City Hall this week, Green Party campaigner Phil De Palma questioned why the council was telling people they could use non-biodegradable plastic bags in caddies.
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Mr Maguire said people did not have to use bags at all, but said the contents were removed from plastic bags before the food waste was treated.
He said: 'It goes to a anaerobic digestion plant run by Biogen in Hertfordshire to be recycled. To put it simply, the food waste is put into giant sealed, oxygen-free tanks where it is gradually broken down to produce biogas and biofertilizer.
'The gas is fed back into the national grid to power our homes and buildings and the fertilizer is used on agricultural land to enrich the soil.' Norwich Castle has been lit up with the recycling 'swoosh' this week to boost awareness of the importance of recycling.
It marks National Recycle Week, which runs until Sunday.
According to the latest figures, people across Norfolk are recycling a record 46.7pc of their household waste through recycling bins.
John Fisher, the chairman of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, said: 'Recycling is good for the environment and it saves money.'