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South Kesteven District Council challenges government funding for kerbside food waste collection

South Kesteven District Council plans to challenge government funding to help it tackle a mandate for kerbside food waste collections.

A report going before councillors tomorrow (Tuesday, February 13) states that according to the latest Environment Act updates residential collections would need to start by March 31, 2026, a year earlier for businesses, schools, and hospitals.

To help fund the change, the government is offering up to £295 million in capital funding to support bin and lorry purchases by local authorities.

Food waste bin. | Image: Stock
Food waste bin. | Image: Stock

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has estimated that SKDC requires nine vehicles; however, the council’s own waste team suggests 12.

Figures before the council show Defra's estimated to provide £1,371,150, but SKDC has estimated that it will need £1,754,157 - a difference of £383,007.

“It should be noted that the indicative capital transitional funding provided by Defra falls short of the actual operational resource requirements; this is the same for all authorities within the LWP, and SKDC will be submitting a challenge to the figures,” said the report.

“Defra has created a process which allows local authorities to challenge their estimates, and the Waste Team is currently working on collating evidence to challenge the suggested transitional capital costs.“

The government favours anaerobic digestion (AD) for food waste treatment, generating bio-fuel and digestate for environmental benefits.

Digestate can be spread on land, recycling nutrients and fostering a circular economy.

The report comes as SKDC continues to implement its purple-lidded bins - for clean, dry paper and card – which have been a concern for some local residents.

South Kesteven is the fifth Lincolnshire district - alongside Boston, North Kesteven, East Lindsey, and West Lindsey - to roll out the new twin-stream recycling collection.

Residents already have purple bins and the first collections started last week.

Ahead of the collections, SKDC issued tags on silver recycling bins - dubbed ‘tags of shame’ - which advise if items are in the wrong bin.

The council previously carried out a food waste collection trial from 2018-2022; however, the scheme was axed due to a lack of funding.

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