What really happens to recycling in Fife? Find out about your food waste

Ahead of Recycle Week 2019 – the annual awareness raising campaign- set to run from 23 September, Fife Council is launching a new video to help Fifers recycle right.

To encourage people to recycle their food and garden waste, Fife Council has produced a video to show Fifers what happens when their brown bin recycling leaves their kerb.

The new short video takes people on a journey to show what happens to food and garden waste, and how this is processed.

It also reveals why only garden and food waste should go into the kerbside brown bin.

Zero Waste Scotland is focusing on food waste during Recycle Week this year because Scottish households throw away 600,000 tonnes of food waste every year.

Fifers can help fight climate change by reducing and recycling their food waste.

Have you ever wondered where your garden and food recycling goes?

Food caddies are provided by Fife Council and the waste from these goes, along with garden waste, into the brown bin, which is collected and transported to a local anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, in Dunfermline.

When food waste is recycled properly, it can become a valuable resource. The AD facility converts food and garden waste into electricity for the national grid, with the heat generated from this process used in local buildings.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that happens naturally when bacteria break down organic material in a closed oxygen free environment. The process produces methane-rich biogas. The methane is captured and used as fuel to generate renewable electricity and heat.

Once energy and heat are produced the material is composted into soil conditioner that is collected and used by Fife farmers, reducing the need to dispose of food waste in landfill sites.

What food waste can be recycled?

All food waste, cooked and uncooked, can be recycled in the brown bin. This includes all unavoidable food waste - potato peelings, tea bags, banana skins, bones, egg shells and coffee grounds.

However, people should not put any non-compostable waste into their brown bin, such as glass, plastic plant pots, plastic bags or food that is still in plastic containers, or that has residual bits of cling film or foil attached.

A little effort goes a long way

Fife Council is asking residents to put food and green garden waste only in the brown bin.  Although some of the wrong material is manually removed at the AD facility, contamination can lead to the compost being regarded as a waste rather than a resource resulting in disposal costs, as farmers can’t use it.

Recycling guides were sent to all residents in February and are available in public buildings.  A copy can be accessed online by visiting fife.gov.uk/recycling

Cllr Ross Vettraino, Convenor of Fife Council’s Environment, Protective Services and Community Safety Committee, said: “The council will do all that it can to support people to reduce waste of every kind and to recycle waste that cannot be avoided.  By choosing to recycle food waste, Fifers can convert it from being something, which is extremely harmful to the environment, to green electricity, which does not harm the environment and that can be fed into the national grid, as well as producing good quality fertiliser that will help crops to grow.  Recycling food waste is a really good and easy way for Fifers to help the local economy and to make a local contribution towards easing a global problem.”

For tips on reducing and recycling food waste, visit greenerscotland.org