Kirknewton folk talk food waste!


Well, with wind blowing down even more trees, the new proposals for the Rail Crossing, the first army barracks meeting happening in October, our active consultations with the Fauch Hill wind farm developers, the development plan nearing completion and signing a brand new lease for the Kirknewton Development Trust office in Main Street for another year (you heard it here first!) it has been a busy time.  So why we draw breath we thought it would be good to sneak in how the food waste trial has done over the last six months – and the best people to let us know about that is you!

The Kirknewton Village Food Waste Trial was to see if the collection of food waste was possible, establish the amount of food waste the village would create on an annual basis (for a proposed AD Plant at the old Kaimes Landfill Site) and to divert food waste from Kirknewton away from landfill.  The project is due to finish as the end of September but we have asked West Lothian Council if they would like to take on the scheme for another year.

The ‘opt-in’ project was funded by Kirknewton Community Development Trust (KCDT), working with CORE (Cyrenians Organics Recycling Enterprise).  Promoted by KCDT we asked for volunteer bin champions to take responsibility for a CORE bin inside or just outside their gardens and to help promote the scheme to their local neighbours.  15 volunteers came forward and approximately 240 homes are taking part in the scheme.  Caddies and liners have been provided to households for free.

Tonnage collected to date: 7,822 tonnes from 714 uplifts til the end of August 2011 (saving WLC aprrox £624 from landfill)

We anticipate a yearly collection will be 16 tonnes.

The whole village participating would be approx. 40 tonnes. (roughly 650 homes).  

The first month of the scheme was slow.  The second month tonnage was high, probably down to people clearing out their fridge.  There are seasonal variations on tonnages, as expected. 

Knock on effects include people becoming aware of being able to compost own food waste and learning to purchase less food and avoiding more waste.  To find out more about the scheme we asked around 50 participants (via e mail) for their opinion.  Their (slightly edited) comments are below…

Comments from participants below:

Comment 1

Hi think it is a great idea and will certainly support if it continues, although we do not have a great deal of food waste and our contribution is usually only one little bag per week.

Comment 2

I only have 1 bag of food waste a week and I have no idea who else puts waste food in the bin.  The little that I have I think it is a great idea and hopefully you will get funding to continue the project

Comment 3

great idea to me

some people persist in putting non degradable bags in the bin

some people think ”putting waste in compost bin’ is better

a sign beside the bin explaining its use and purpose would be handy–as comments made on possibly a dog poo bin ? (–maybe that’s biodigestible too though ??,–must be  if the dog digested it–but that’s the bit that’s not digestible that’s left ? then again arabs use camel dung for cooking fires)  and some put any old rubbish in it when passing–cans etc

happy to keep on using it

this is country area so bin is average of 50m from each house–which i think discourages people–i collect mine for about 5 days and take it all at once–but it gets a bit smelly and the bags start to degrade–but i should know that

we will have more houses here soon so should have mor eto put in it

bin makes you aware of how much waste you make–even when you are careful

Comments 4

Personally I have only good things to say – I do realise how much food waste we produce and that is depressing but I feel that at least it is going somewhere useful and I don’t feel such a need to finish the food on the kids’ plates!

If the waste can all be put to good use and ultimately turned into energy all the better.

If we don’t get the funding to continue this project I will definitely miss it and it will be a detrimental move.

We do however need more people on board in order to make environmental sense for the Core lorry that drives up and down all the farm lanes etc.

Comment 5

I thought the idea wonderful and until April was using the bins regularly. In April my kitchen was remodelled and during this time I did not use the bins. Once this was completed the bin had been moved and I did not know where to. So I stopped using it.
I would like to continue using it but we need to be made aware where the nearest bin is.
I also have a supply of interior bins which were left in my garden that have not moved. They were left so people could get one easily to be included in the trial but no-one else was interested. These can be picked up if required.

Comment 6

We’ve had our bin since around April and we’ve found the food waste collections a positive experience. We’ve found that we are more aware of how much food we buy so that we don’t end up throwing a lot away. Also we can empty our little bin whenever we need to and this means that anything in it is not sitting in our larger general waste bin for two weeks. It also feels like we are actually doing something worthwhile and not just adding more to landfill.

The only negative thing we can think of is that not many of our neighbour’s seem to be involved in the scheme – we sometimes get strange looks when we empty our bin. There still may be residents who are unaware of the project and it may be most effective to go house to house with little bins to give to them.

Comment 7

Just to let you know, I find the food waste bin really useful.  It helps reduce main waste, but also highlights what is being binned, helping to budget and plan shopping better. It is a great service.

Comment 8

I can only give 100% positive feedback on the food waste trial. I’m amazed how little we put in our grey bin now between recycling and the food waste.

It’s such a fantastic facility and I’d be happy to encourage the neighbours to join if you give me some flyers.

The bins are always emptied on time and never smell.

It’s great for those of use who don’t compost as there’s no where else to recycle the waste.

The only negative is making sure everyone knows how to get more bin bags as I noticed someone had just put food straight in the big bin.

Please continue this initiative as it’s fantastic!

Comment 9

We have a core bin in our road and we think it is great and use it very regularly to deposit our food waste.

It would be a sad lost to the Milrig Holdings residents if we lost this facility.

 We would be very keen to see it continue.

 Can I get more food waste recycling bags from the Development Trust office in the village?

Comment 10

My comments are as follows:-

I can’t imagine not having the food waste bin now, please please keep it going. 

I’m finding that I’m hardly putting anything into my grey landfill bin now.

Ive noticed that my neighbours are putting decreasingly less in the bin, not sure why? I have dropped off more bags for them to and the bin is always located at the front of my house. 

Maybe you need to capture all participants email addresses and keep in contact with them too.

Maybe participants need to be communicated to once in a while about the benefits, give stats, where the food goes what is used too, comms like this are good as updates and motivational and hopefully encourage people to keep using the bin.

Weekly pickup has been efficient and I like the fact that Core return the bin to its storage position as opposed to leaving it in the road like WLC do.

During the hot days (of which there were very few) the bin did get a bit stinky so maybe needs picking up more often then? ?

2 other houses use my bin, 1 neighbour has never used it although they said they would hence comms campaign?

It would be useful to have a sticker on the side of the bin reitterating what can go inside, I found plastic containers with food in one day and had to fish them out. Yuk.

Good luck with the funding bid!

Comment 11

I think it’s a great project and easy to use.   I just think it’s a shame that more people don’t use it.   I’ve been told that they won’t do it because of the fear that the small bin in the kitchen would smell and despite being told that it does not, they are not willing to try.   Horse and water comes to mind !

Comment 12

 I have liked the Food Waste initiative and it has, on the whole, worked fine in Braekirk Avenue.  One spat was easily resolved.  In particular I liked the wider range of things I could put into the bin, which I was not adding to my compost – eg chicken bones.  (That is until my dog got stuck into the bin and spent several days recovering from eating chicken bones!!)

Comment 13

just to say i would lijke this to continue, it is not difficult apart from having to walk a minute up the road which is ok in summer but a little off putting when the weather gets cold and wet! but worth it and the longer it goes on the more potential there is for more people to join in.

Comment 14

I am amazed at how quickly I have become conditioned to filling up my Green Holder in the Kitchen.

I hope it all goes well and I am happy to continue to put all household food waste in the biodegradable bags for the foreseeable future.

Comment 15

We have been very pleased with the food waste trial.  It coincided with us starting to wean our baby and it was good that the extra food waste we had (as there were always lots of leftover little bits) weren’t going to landfill.  When we have been away we have found that it feels wrong just to put our food waste in the normal bin! We are keen to recycle anything we can.  Please find a way to keep this project going.

Unfortunately I don’t have email addresses for any of my neighbours, however I know that everyone has used the food waste bin a lot and have been very positive about it.

Comment 16

I think the foodwaste bins are an excellent idea.  We have quickly gotten used to putting the foodwaste into the green bin – it doesn’t smell and I try to put the bag into the collection bin every few days.  I feel it has helped reduce the waste going into the grey bin.  I belong to a group of 6 houses using the collection bin, and the number of bags seems to have remained the same over the trail period. I would love the scheme to continue as it is a positive move to reducing landfill waste and a potential source of energy.

Maybe some more information needs to be disseminated to folk who find the idea ‘icky’! If the scheme continues then a few more reminders of what goes in the bin etc (and to maintain usage) would be helpful over the next year, until it becomes a regular part of everyone’s household waste management.

Comment 17

The food waste trial has been very sucessfull in my street, Hallcraigs. It was very interesting to see however that as I was given 10 kitchen caddys to hand out, which I did along with leaflets and liners, to the houses on my side of the street, everyone took part well.

As for the other side of the street I let some of my neighbours know what we were doing and where to get more kitchen caddys to take part. To my knowledge no-one from the other side of the street has taken part.

We are lucky in that we have a secure location for our wheelie bin that is off the main road so have had no problems with the wrong waste being added.

 I think our case proves that if people are delivered a service to their door step they are happy, if you require them to make any effort to be organised, they are not interested.

 I personally have enjoyed the trial as it is a good way for us to monitor how much waste we, as a household, are producing.

The driver who empties the wheelie bin is lovely, not like the grumpy WLC drivers!

 I would be very happy to continue with the project and if required I will round up my neighbours on the other side of the street too!

Good luck with the application.

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