Hundreds more homes in Broadland to get food waste collected
More than 700 more homes in Broadland are set to get weekly collections of food waste, but a move to scrap a service which enables town and parish councils to borrow skips for people to dump their rubbish in has sparked controversy.
Broadland District Council currently runs a food waste collection service for more than 10,000 homes, including parts of Thorpe St Andrew, Old Catton, Sprowston, Spixworth, Taverham and Hellesdon.
The council says the scheme has been a success, with more than 800 tonnes of collected food composted in 2010/11, instead of being sent to landfill.
Through its contract with Veolia Environmental Services, the council is set to add 750 further properties to the scheme, which would collect another 60 tonnes a year at no extra cost to the contractor.
The only costs would be in supplying the bins, starch bags and leaflets, which would cost an initial �1,800 and then �2,000 a year - costs which the council says are offset by the extra cash the council receives in recycling credits by avoiding sending waste to landfill.
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The cabinet agreed to those plans earlier this month, but it has yet to be decided which homes will be added to the food waste collection route.
But the axing of a skip service provided to parish councils has proved to be more controversial. At the moment parish and town councils can borrow a skip to place at various locations for people to leave their household waste in.
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Almost 150 skips were supplied in 2010/11, with the skips often used in the Broads for the collection of household waste from boats.
However, officers at Broadland say only 32 of 63 parishes regularly make use of the skips and getting rid of them would save �34,000 a year.
They say rubbish other than household waste is often dumped in the unattended skips, with the council left to pick up the bill for the costs of removing the likes of commercial waste and gas bottles from them.
The Conservative-run cabinet has agreed to scrap that service, but opposition Liberal Democrat councillors have called in that decision to a overview and scrutiny meeting next week,
The Liberal Democrats will argue that the decision will have 'adverse effects' on the parishes which use the service.
John Fisher, the council's portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: 'One of the biggest issues is that we have been getting so much commercial waste in those skips, rather than household waste. The service is being abused by tradespeople.
'From when we started up the parish skip service the recycling service has moved on considerably and the county council would rather people took the rubbish to the recycling centres so it can be disposed of correctly.'
He added parish councils had the option to pay for the service themselves, if they wished it to continue.
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