Aug 21st, 2019
4 mins

Defra responds to consistency in recycling collections in England consultation

  • ADBA welcomes Defra’s positive decisions on food waste collections for households and businesses
  • ADBA recommendations taken on board
  • Many respondents mention AD as a technology to improve food waste treatment.

The UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has welcomed the response from Defra to the Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England consultation, which was published today and takes on board the recommendations made in ADBA’s submission.

Of particular significance is the decision to commit to mandatory weekly separate food waste collections, including flats, in England, and the launch of a further consultation to legislate towards food waste collections for businesses.

Additionally, Defra has recognised the need to support local authorities with funding upfront and for ongoing operation costs, and to provide incentives for residents, with the launch of a consultation on the supply of free caddy liners.

Another source of great satisfaction and encouragement for ADBA is that many respondents specifically mentioned anaerobic digestion (AD) when urging for better treatment for food waste.

Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive, said: “We have long been advocating improved food waste management in England.   If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of emissions globally.  Separate food waste collections help us see how much food we are wasting and take action to reduce it, which is the biggest benefit. But the resources that went into producing the food are still in the inedible fraction. Recycling this through AD into clean green gas for power, transport or heat and natural fertiliser to grow more food shows the circular economy in action. Recycling a full kitchen caddy of food waste can generate enough energy to power a TV for 2.5 hours!1.  Recycling all organic wastes through AD can reduce global emissions by a whopping 13%2.

Good food waste management starts with the implementation by local authorities of wide-ranging, efficient and cost-effective food waste collections schemes, and we are therefore very pleased to see that Defra’s response to the consultation makes important steps towards achieving this.”

1Source: Recycle Now

2Source: World Biogas Association Global Potential of Biogas report – July 2019


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