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West Suffolk council quick off the mark with food waste bin plan to meet Government’s 2026 target

Plans are in place for households in West Suffolk to have a separate bin for food waste, collected weekly.

The Government has ordered councils across the country to prepare for the introduction of the new food waste collection service in April 2026.

Under the Simpler Recycling policy, published in October, councils must also increase the range of recyclable items collected from people’s homes, adding glass bottles and jars and cartons by March 31, 2026, and flexible plastics - such as bread bags and plastic film wrapping - by March 31, 2027.

Cllr David Taylor portfolio holder for operations at West Suffolk Council
Cllr David Taylor portfolio holder for operations at West Suffolk Council

Central government will allocate just under £1.7 million to West Suffolk Council to meet the cost of new refuse collection lorries and bins.

In a report by Cllr David Taylor, West Suffolk council’s portfolio holder for operations, councillors were told unprecedented nationwide demand for equipment such as lorries and bins was a major risk to meeting the Government’s deadline.

Most of the county’s equipment requirements would be related to the new collection service for food waste, so Suffolk councils were being asked to take the relevant decisions early this month, said Cllr Taylor’s report.

After hearing that the timescale for the the manufacture and delivery of new bin lorries currently stood at 12 to 18 months, they agreed Mark Walsh, director (operations), in consultation with Cllr Taylor, should be delegated to order the necessary equipment as soon as possible in order to be ready in two years time.

When the new food waste collections start, householders will be asked to separate their food waste into a council-provided bin of about 23 litres in size, less than a 10th the size of the standard 240 litre wheelie bins used by West Suffolk Council for general, garden and recyclable waste. The small bin, of a colour yet to be decided, will be collected from the kerbside along with the other bins.

A further caddy of five litres will also be provided for use in the kitchen, providing a convenient holder to store the food waste prior to collection.