Wiltshire strikes deal with Defra to rollout food waste ‘from 2027’ – letsrecycle.com

The council explained that although the regulations state that weekly food waste collections should be provided by local authorities by 31 March 2026, Defra “has provided dispensation to those councils who are unable to begin their service by that date”.

Wiltshire put this down to “existing contracts they have in place with service providers”. The council’s kerbside waste and recycling collections are carried out by Hills, under a contract which expires in July 2026 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Minutes from Wiltshire’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday (20 February) explained that it is unable to meet the deadline due to issues regarding vehicles for collection and other costs, as well as financial and contractual impacts to assess and consider before any such decision could be made and implemented.

Due to contractual arrangements [the collection of food waste] isn’t possible

  • Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire council

‘Clear detail’

Cllr Nick Holder, cabinet member for environment, updated councillors on the council’s food waste, said: The changes through the Environment Act will have a significant impact on waste services throughout the country. We’ve been awaiting clear detail from Defra on these important issues for some time, so it’s good to now have the necessary direction so that we can begin to plan these services in detail for our residents.

We know people are rightly passionate about food waste collection and perhaps want the service earlier but due to our current contractual arrangements this isn’t possible. However, in the meantime, we will be doing what we can do to support and advise residents before our collection service starts in 2027.

Policy

Plans for the ‘transitional’ rollout of food waste collections were first raised by Defra in December 2022 (see letsrecycle.com story), ahead of the later delayed second consultation on response on consistent recycling, which was later rebranded to ‘simpler recycling’.

The letter explained that if ministers decide it is appropriate, “we will include specific transitional arrangements for a particular collection authority”.

‘Education’

Wiltshire said that in the meantime, it will use the time it has to plan for the new collection service by “educating, supporting and advising residents on how to deal with their food waste as effectively as possible”.