Residents urged to turn their food waste into energy

Residents in Eastleigh Borough are being encouraged to make greater use of the Council’s weekly food waste collection scheme to produce more green energy for their homes.

Eastleigh’s food waste will provide enough energy for 185 homes every year and last year households in the Borough recycled 1,917 tonnes of their food waste. Unfortunately a lot of food waste still ends up in black household waste bins – wasting this value resource. The best thing residents can do with their food is to enjoy it, but some waste like banana skins, tea bags and plate scraping are inevitable.

The food waste recycling scheme – which is the only one of its kind in Hampshire – collects food waste every week in brown bins. The collected waste is taken to a special processing plant in Bournemouth. Here it is turned into a biogas through a process called anaerobic digestion. The gas is then used to generate electricity for the national grid, where it powers all our homes and appliances.

The process also creates a bio-fertiliser which helps replace factory-produced fertiliser, the production of which is responsible for 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK per year.

To help residents along the way, each house in the Borough will be receiving a free roll of compostable liners to put in their food waste kitchen caddies. The free liners will be accompanied by an informational leaflet and stickers will go on black bins as a reminder to keep these free of food waste. The intervention has been funded by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and has proved to be a successful way of increasing participation in other areas.

Nearly all food wastes types can be recycled – including meat, dairy, fish, fruit and vegetables. Recycling even small amounts can make a difference – recycling just one tea bag a day for a month can produce the energy to make another five cups, while a single caddy load of food waste can generate enough electricity to toast eight slices of bread.

Scaled up across the Borough this all adds up, each lorry load of food waste will generate enough energy to power your fridge for up to four years.

If you don’t have a brown bin or kitchen caddy to put your food waste in, you can order one from the Council.