Hidden cost of bins fiasco
By Peter Dobbs
Food waste to landfill could double Council's greenhouse emissions
Questions asked at Derbyshire Dales District Council's meeting on Thursday 25th November have drawn attention to a consequence of the suspension since the beginning of August of separate food waste collection.
We have been shown calculations that indicate that this suspension will cause the food waste that has so far been dumped in landfill to contribute the equivalent of almost 1000 tonnes of CO2.
This is more than the total 'greenhouse gas' emissions for the District Council over an entire year (from things like running their vehicle fleet to heating offices and powering computers).
This 'extra' CO2 burden will also prove expensive to remove if the project at Ashbourne's Leisure Centre is taken as an example. In this £0.7 million project solar panel and air source heat pumps will save an estimated 123 tonnes of CO2 a year. Over 20 years this represent a cost of about £300 per tonne of CO2 saved. So the dumping of food waste to date will cost over £0.25 million to recover in the future - a total that will increase by £17,000 for every extra week it goes to landfill.
An announcement on 25th November, the day that the questions were put to the Derbyshire Dales District Council, indicates that Serco intend to resume the separate collection of food waste from next Monday, 29th November.
Let us hope they never again take the costly and shortsighted step of suspending this service.