Maggot warning as waste argument hots up

Maggots will stop people recycling their food waste as the weather hots up warned a mother who slammed a council for not accepting the biodegradable bags that would solve the problem.

A decision by Stevenage Borough Council not to accept the eco-friendly supermarket sacks in its green waste bins has been criticised by Raban Close resident, Amanda Batt.

She said the sealed bags stopped the infestations she suffered last summer, but the council is now refusing to collect bins containing these.

“I moved to Stevenage with my family a year ago. We love it here,” the 40-year-old said. “We are very conscious of recycling and it is something that we participate in wholeheartedly.

“There is one problem. I know that we have fortnightly collections - one week recycled and one week general rubbish. Last year because of this my family and others in our street suffered badly with maggots in the food recycle bin. This is disgusting.

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“Rather than moan, I took action and bought biodegradable bags to put the food waste in. They sit in the small caddy. The council are now refusing to take these. As the warm weather approaches I am very concerned how to combat this.

“I believe that this will result in people taking the stand of not recycling the food waste any longer. I know that is what I am considering. I am not accepting that we have to live with maggots for this.

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“No solution is on offer to us. It is not fair and not right when I am happy to find a solution at my own cost.”

A spokesman for Stevenage Borough council, which uses the Agrivert composting centre in South Mimms for collected waste, said paper recycling bags stamped with the compostable leaf logo were acceptable, but non-paper compostable bags are not.

“We currently can’t accept non-paper bags because the recycling centre cannot process these,” she said.

She added that the council was in talks with the county council to try to find other solutions.

Elsewhere in Comet county there is a mixed picture when it comes to recycling food waste.

Currently North Herts residents are not allowed to use biodegradable bags for food recycling although the council is reviewing its policy on this.

John Robinson, North Herts District Council strategic director of customer services, said: “NHDC does not currently accept any type of bio-degradable or compostable bags in residents’ brown bins on the advice of Hertfordshire County Council who operate the composting site (at Cumberlow Green Farm in Buntingford). This is to avoid any risk of contamination on the site from bags which may take too long to break down in our composting facilities.

“However, we have very recently been informed by the county council that they will now accept a particular type of compostable bag and we are currently considering the implications of this on our brown bin collection service.

“A recent waste audit found that eight per cent of the contents of residents’ brown bins is contaminated with non-compostable materials, and therefore we would need to consider carefully the potential implications for further contamination if the wrong types of compostable bags were put in residents’ brown bins.”

Residents in Central Beds have their food waste bins collected on a weekly basis by the council which provides biodegradable bags to go in kitchen caddies.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Residents can use supermarket biodegradable bags but there shouldn’t be a need to as we supply bags to residents for this purpose.”

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