Posted on: Thursday 9 May 2019
From this week Torfaen residents will see a change in their food waste caddy liners.
A change in the way the borough’s food waste is recycled now means that residents can reuse bread bags or similar as food waste caddy liners. Caddy liners will still be provided, but will be made of recycled plastic (for those who want to use them).
The new food waste caddy liners will be replacing the corn starch liners which residents previously used saving the council £36,000 per annum. However, if residents still have a supply of corn starch caddy liners they can still be used until these run out.
Torfaen has procured Anaerobic Digestion (AD) treatment for food waste in partnership with Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire council because it’s the most sustainable and economical way of treating food waste. During the AD process food waste is broken down to create methane which then generates electricity. As part of the process a rich fertilizer is also produced which is used on local farms.
At the beginning of the AD process, food waste is removed from bags, the bags are squeezed dry, and then sent to an Energy from Waste (Efw) facility to produce electricity. The AD process can’t handle compostable liners which the council previously offered to residents. As a partnership, the council are currently jointly procuring food waste caddy liners so further financial savings can be made.
During the next four to six weeks Torfaen residents will notice that food waste caddy liners will have Monmouthshire or Blaenau Gwent council branding on them. This is because the council will be using some of the partner’s caddy liners until the new branded caddy liners are available.
Due to the changes in food waste caddy liners residents are being encouraged to re-use their old plastic bags such as bread bags, frozen food bags, potato bags and cereal bags as food waste caddy liners before reaching for the council provided caddy liners.
Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, said: “The council has provided food waste caddy liners for several years and our feedback showed this is an important factor in encouraging residents to recycle more food waste.
“Our new contract, in partnership with neighbouring local authorities, involves a new way to treat the food waste which separates the old compostable bags from the food waste at the start of the process. This means there is no benefit to using the compostable bags and actually, they result in less recycling because the food sticks to them.
“Working as a partnership, the council are jointly procuring food waste caddy liners so further financial savings can be made.
“Therefore, in the meantime all three local authorities will be sharing their remaining stocks of old corn starch food waste caddy liners. As a result it’s likely that some of the bags used in Torfaen will be branded as Monmouthshire or Blaenau Gwent.
“Treating food waste using the AD process means people can find another use for their single use bags such as bread bags, many of which end up in general waste anyway. By using the bags they are helping recycle more of their food waste, re-using their surplus plastic bags and if you run out of caddy liners you won’t have to rush out for a new supply of bags.
“I prefer not to use single use bags for my food waste, plastic or compostable, but I understand some residents will prefer to use a bag. Reduce, reuse and recycle is our key message and we are grateful to residents for continuing to join us on our missions to make Torfaen a clean and green place.”
For top tips on reducing food waste all year round visit the Love Food Hate Waste webpages.
For more information about visit the council’s bins and recycling webpages