Missed food waste collections record defended by council leaders

North Norfolk District Council hopes to reduce food and drink waste by signing up to the agreement.

Council bosses have defended the number of missed food waste collections in Norwich. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Only about 30 food waste collections are missed in Norwich each month, council leaders have said, amid criticism some caddies are not picked up.

Norwich City Council launched weekly collections for food waste a decade ago, which City Hall bosses say means more than 3,300 tonnes of food waste is recycled each year.

James Wright, Norwich City councillor for Eaton. Picture: Liberal Democrats

James Wright, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. - Credit: Lib Dems

But James Wright, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton, raised concerns at a recent council meeting that some caddies are not being collected.

He said: "A number of local residents have got in touch to express concerns about missed food waste collections, despite leaving the caddies out for collection in the usual way.

"Having followed this up with the council, they were told it was accepted that the contractor should have collected, but that no return visit would be made."

Kevin Maguire ,Norwich City Councils cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment. Pic:

Kevin Maguire, Norwich City Council Labour cabinet member for safe and sustainable city development - Credit: Submitted

But Kevin Maguire, Labour's cabinet member for safe and sustainable city development, said the collection system under contractor Biffa was "very efficient".

In July 2019, more than 140 collections were reported as having been missed that month, but figures for January this year showed only 37 missed collections reported.

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Mr Maguire said: "The number of missed collections has reduced consistently over the last two years and with thousands of collections each week a missed collection rate of just 30 per month is very low – as evidenced in the latest performance data.

"We estimate that the service is 99.9pc effective.

"Officers have checked the notes from customer contacts regarding the small number of missed food waste collections and there is no mention of residents being told that Biffa will not return.

"The only time the resident would be informed that Biffa will not return is if the report is outside of the stated 48 hour period for reporting a missed collection.

"Given all of the available evidence, I am very satisfied that the contractor is fulfilling their obligations to both the council and to residents."

Meanwhile, Broadland District Council is expanding its food waste service this month.

An extra 1,700 households in Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston, Old Catton, Spixworth and Drayton, will get food waste collected from from April 26.