GREEN food waste caddies will be distributed to all homes in Swindon – but not quite yet.

The trial of food waste collection in the town will be rolled out to every household in the borough after the council’s cabinet agreed to go ahead with the plan.

But according to one cabinet member, it is very much the second-best option

The idea is to increase the rate of recycling to 60 per cent in the next year.

Cabinet member for climate change Keith Williams told his colleagues that he would have preferred another way of disposing of it.

He said: “We are working to recycling targets set by the EU in 2008, and nobody can see 12 years into the future.

“The proportion of recycling by weight has dropped because there are fewer newspapers being bought and put in the recycling than 12 years ago. Glass bottles are lighter. We are being pushed into collecting food waste to increase of weight of recycling, when it would be better not to collect it but for it to be composted at home.”

The trial weekly collection of kitchen scraps, peelings bones and leftovers from 11,000 houses in different areas of the borough has been hailed a success.

The council said: “The service is well received and any previous concerns around flies, odours and vermin have not materialised. The vast majority of residents want the trial to become permanent.”

It added that in the first six months about 450 tonnes of waste was collected, an average of about 1.5kg of waste per household. And food waste out of the stream of rubbish going to the solid waste recovery plant at Waterside Park in Rodbourne Cheney has also saved money.

Rubbish there is died out, minced and compacted to be sold as fuel to industry. As food scraps often have a high water content they need more drying out, using more energy.

The report to councillors said since the start of the trial the cost of producing the fuel from a tonne of domestic rubbish had dropped from £129 to £45.

Householders already taking part in the trial were issued with two green plastic caddies. A small one is intended to be kept in the kitchen with leftovers and scraps put in daily, and then that is transferred to a bigger one kept outside and put on the pavement for weekly collection.

It will be a while before they are delivered to other areas. The coronavirus lockdown means it won’t happen immediately – food waste will continue to be collected from houses in the trial and the service will be extended to the rest of the borough at a later date when it is deemed safe to do so.

The food waste collected is sent to composting stations called anaerobic digesters, which turn the material into compost and gas.