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New Government food waste law is untenable and just a slogan, says top councillor





The new Government food waste law has been described as untenable and just a slogan by a top Suffolk councillor.

Cllr Philip Smart, who is responsible for environment and climate change in Ipswich, asked other executive members on Tuesday to approve the procurement of waste removal vehicles, food waste caddies and bins.

This followed last year’s Government Simpler Recycling policy announcement which would see local authorities collecting food waste weekly.

Cllr Philip Smart described the new Government food waste law as untenable and just a slogan. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council
Cllr Philip Smart described the new Government food waste law as untenable and just a slogan. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council

The new policy comes into effect at the end of March 2026 in a bid to stop smelly waste waiting weeks for collection and cutting food waste ending in landfills.

But Cllr Smart is not convinced the policy will have the desired effect as residents will have to first empty food waste into an internal caddy, and then empty it into an external caddy every week before council collection — those living in flats will be provided with larger communal bins.

He said: “I think very soon, if not already, people are going to see that this simpler recycling is just a slogan, it is far from simple. It’s going to be more more complex and costly for residents and local authorities.”

This followed last year’s Government Simpler Recycling policy announcement which would see local authorities collecting food waste weekly
This followed last year’s Government Simpler Recycling policy announcement which would see local authorities collecting food waste weekly

Under the new rules, food waste will also have to be collected from businesses and non-domestic premises weekly from the end of March next year.

This was described by Cllr Smart as untenable due to the current 18-month waiting list for waste collection vehicles, particularly as many other local authorities would also start their procurement process.

Current Government allocations only cover just under £950,000, or about 58 per cent of the £1.6m the system’s implementation is expected to cost in Ipswich.

Across Suffolk, estimates have the system costing a total of £6.7m, with the Government only offsetting £4.6m of that, placing further pressure on local authority financing.

On Tuesday, members of Ipswich’s executive approved the immediate start of procurement and also decided to delegate the process to officers to make sure the system was delivered on time.

The vote went through as a majority decision with Cllr Ian Fisher, the borough’s Conservative leader, voting against the proposal as he believed a cheaper alternative for the vehicles could be available in a few months.