Pickles offers food for thought
Eric Pickles' announcement of a £250m fund to support local authorities that want to return to weekly household bin collections was bound to trigger a strong reaction from industry players and local authorities.
As they say, there's more than one way to skin a cat but still, the fact that this money has been made available at a time when the Government is banging on about the importance of savings, will no doubt lead many commentators to assume that this has all come about because of Pickles' personal crusade to return to weekly collections.
Putting those views aside, there does seem to be quite a bit of support for this approach, although with many providing caveats. For instance, the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association welcomed the news, so long as it meant that the Department for Communities & Local Government led the charge for source-segregated organic collections.
Lord Redesdale has come out saying that ADBA supports a weekly collection of food waste if it's separated from dry recyclables such as plastic, glass and metal. This is what householders want and it also helps to get the most out of the whole waste stream, he argues.
Interestingly, a recent survey by construction, infrastructure and design business Morgan Sindall seems to suggest that anaerobic digestion has the biggest role to play in terms of a technology or process that can transform the UK's waste management industry.
Over 200 visitors to the RWM exhibition in September were polled for their views on this issue and AD came out as the most popular choice with 33%, followed by incineration on 26%.
ADBA sees the £250m fund as a huge boost to the AD industry but only if encourages local authorities to collect food waste separately. That's no foregone conclusion but one thing that is certain - Pickles' announcement offers plenty of food for thought.
Nick WarburtonNick Warburton