Credit: Nick Saltmarsh via Creative Commons

Food waste recycling trial in north-west Glasgow

By Giselle Inglis

The trail will last eight weeks and will shape the delivery of the food waste recycling system across the rest of the city.

A new approach for collecting food waste has been tested in north-west Glasgow since 10 August. The trial is set to last a total of eight weeks and the results will shape the delivery of the food waste recycling system across the rest of the city. 

Recent figures have shown that 2,000 tonnes of food waste is collected from flatted properties in Glasgow and sent for reprocessing each year. However, a spokesman for the council stated there has been a disappointing uptake of the food waste service for flatted properties since its introduction in 2016. 

Around 4,500 grey bins will be retained at addresses in the north-west of Glasgow with a good record of food recycling, and 2,500 grey bins will be removed due to repeated incidents of spoiling. Those who have had grey bins removed will instead use one of the 200 public sites across the north-west of the city to send their food waste for processing. 

The trial follows a review into the system for food waste recycling carried out in February 2020 which found that 30% of grey bins used for food waste were contaminated with other rubbish such as black bin bags. In case of contamination, food can no longer go forward for reprocessing and must be collected separately. This leads to delays in waste being removed and significant additional costs for the council. 

The council are hoping that this new system of food waste recycling will lead to a more environmentally friendly approach while also being good value for taxpayers’ money. 

The review also found a lack of safety for cleaning crews accessing back courts due to excess bins. Through the removal of bins in these tenements, the council hopes to also resolve this issue, creating a safer environment for cleaning crews. 

The food waste recycling system will remain suspended in the north-east and south of Glasgow. Tenants in these areas should continue to use their general waste bin for their food waste, as they did during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, bins can be emptied on a one-off basis by cleaning crews if they have been filled-up. 

The trial has been met with some opposition. Labour councillor Paul Carey, who represents the Drumchapel and Anniesland ward, criticised the decision, telling Clydebank Post: “I find it incredible that the council is taking away 2,500 food waste bins and is replacing them with this pilot project, which will put these industrial waste bins back on the street.

“These bins will probably attract vermin and as for the council giving the excuse that they are replacing 2,500 bins due to a health and safety issue for workers is ridiculous.” 

There has also been a petition launched by Battlefield resident, Alison Campbell, on to keep food waste recycling going in Glasgow tenements. Campbell told the Glasgow Times that the council had been promoting recycling schemes and carbon neutral ideas, and if they were to get rid of the current service then they would prevent these goals from being attained. 

Glasgow City Council have ensured that they have no solid plans on the food waste recycling system and will review their policy once the pilot scheme has finished. 

For more information on the location of the public food waste bin sites, visit the council website here.


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