9 February 2016
The Green Party in Exeter has welcomed Exeter City Council’s response to their proposals to set up a ‘Food Waste Roundtable’ to take action on reducing the city’s vast quantity of food waste.
Food waste makes up 36% of ‘black bin’ waste in Exeter and ends up in the incinerator at Marsh Barton. The Green Party has long campaigned for Exeter to have separate food waste collections, like other areas in Devon, so that this waste stream is removed from ‘black bin’ waste and treated differently.
A petition set up by Exeter Greens calling for food waste not to be incinerated but collected from householders every week to be composted has received over 600 signatures. Bethany Payne, Exeter St James ward candidate for the Green Party, said:
“Exeter is the only part of Devon not to collect food waste and residents want this changed. Food that goes into kitchen bins could be composted instead and create energy through a process known as anaerobic digestion. This is much more efficient than incineration, and food waste actually reduces the performance of the incineration process. The other advantage is that the end result can be used as a safe fertilizer for local farms and parks.”
Exeter City Council have, to date, said they cannot afford to implement a separate food waste collection system, so the Green Party has called on the council to set up a ‘Food Waste Roundtable’ where interested parties can agree practical and financially viable solutions together. Lynn Wetenhall, Exeter Green Party food waste spokesperson said:
“We are delighted that at last we are making progress on this critical issue. We welcome the fact the council are listening to the people of Exeter and looking at the Green Party’s proposals. It is vital we reduce the amount of food waste we create, but unavoidable food waste needs to be treated as a resource. Sensible and financially viable solutions for dealing with this resource are in operation elsewhere – we can create a strong practical partnership to take real action on waste in Exeter.”
 Figures from Devon County Council and Exeter City Council show Exeter has the lowest rate of recycling 36% approximatelty, in Devon. Of the 60,000 tons of waste incinerated a year in Exeter, 36.7% of all waste to incinerator expected to be food waste.
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