Lancashire bin shake-up incoming as households told to split food waste

-Credit: (Image: maerzkind)
-Credit: (Image: maerzkind)

Lancashire households could see a shake-up in bin collections by councils, with new kitchen caddies, community bins and bin lorries collecting food waste each week.

Residents will reportedly be required to keep food away from garden waste. And some councils may face extra bin lorry fuel costs and journeys, if plans to transport all local food waste to just one central Lancashire waste plant go ahead.

How extra fuel costs may impact on local council budgets is a concern for some, especially in districts furthest away from the central site near Leyland. Borough councils, such as Pendle and Rossendale, currently collect waste while Lancashire County Council is responsible for disposal and recycling processes.

The government has introduced a new law, meaning councils - and households - will have to separate food waste from other waste by 2026. But work has already started for Lancashire councils in looking at buying new caddies, bins and lorries.

Pendle and Rossendale councils are among the boroughs being told to prepare for change. They have been earmarked some government cash towards bins and vehicles but may have to use their own funds too. Discussions are ongoing.


Pendle's Executive of leading councillors is being asked to approve a tendering process for bin lorries and caddies, and for council officers to start planning for weekly food collections. Rossendale Council's cabinet is looking at similar changes too.

Regarding finance, Pendle Council has been told it will receive around £790,000 support towards new bin lorries, communal bins, kerbside caddies and kitchen caddies. But it has written to DEFRA requesting a review of funding and has not had a reply yet, according to the report. Overall, Pendle Council has currently earmarked over £1million towards the changes including around £282,000 of its own.

A new Pendle Executive report for the executive states: "The Environment Act of 2021 introduced changes to waste collection. It means that recyclable household waste, includes food waste, has to be collected separately from other household waste. Food waste must be collected at least once a week.

"The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ( DEFRA) expects food waste to be treated through anaerobic digestion or in-vessel composting (IVC) rather than mechanical biological treatment, where it is normally processed with other types of waste.."

Anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting are processes to break down organic waste alone. Mechanical biological treatments use different stages and processes to deal with mixed waste.

Lancashire County Council has redeveloping a reclamation facility in Farington, near Leyland, to take food waste,. But it will not be providing any other sites for food. Each district council will have to deliver food waste there.

Pendle Lib-Dem Coun David Whipp and other councillors have already raised concerns about the potential extra costs associated with taking waste from east Lancashire to Leyland in recent council meetings,.

Meanwhile, Rossendale Council has been earmarked £739,000 to buy the vehicles, caddies and bins. Around £510,000 is planned for new vehicles so there is no direct cost to the council, a new cabinet report states.

Four lorries will cost £408,000 leaving enough to buy an extra vehicle, according to the report. Rossendale Council officers are working-out the best collection routes and other details.

Across Lancashire, districts and the county council have looked at the option to jointly buy caddies to get discounts with large orders. Joint efforts might be made to buy bin lorries too. Research is ongoing.