Fly-blown brown bins tackled

Maggots in food recycling bins – a perennial problem for green residents - could become a thing of the past after a move by Stevenage Borough Council.

Brown bins, used for recycling garden and food waste, including meat, in the town, have suffered from maggot infestations, particularly in summer. The problem was exacerbated by the council’s decision to change from weekly to fortnightly collections.

Disgusted residents called on the authority to allow the use of biodegradable bags to seal food waste, but were told these could not be used because the council’s chosen composting plant would not process them.

Responding to the calls, the council has negotiated with the plant to allow bags stamped with the industry standard compostable logo, a spokesman said.

John Gardner, council environment and regeneration portfolio holder, said the authority wants to make it easy for everyone to recycle as much food waste as possible to cut landfill costs.

“Negotiating this change to be able to collect the bags is a big step forward and we hope it will make life easier for our residents. Landfill space has become more and more sparse which has seen the price of landfill tax continue to rise steeply, so it’s vital that we continue to recycle more food waste. We hope that being able to use these bags will encourage more people to do just that.”

Compostable bags to line the council-supplied kitchen food caddies can be found in most supermarkets, but other types of biodegradable bags such as supermarket carrier bags will not be accepted.