Calls for Horsham to be a leader on introducing food waste collections

A Horsham mum has argued the area should become a ‘leader’ when it comes to the collection of household food waste.

Lucy Holloway, Claire Lyon and Inga Geach started a petition last year calling on Horsham District Council to provide a household food waste and composting service.

Lucy Holloway, who started the petition with two other mums, pictured with Labour members Carol Hayton,  Michael and Karen Symes outside council offices with the petition, which called for weekly food waste collections

Lucy Holloway, who started the petition with two other mums, pictured with Labour members Carol Hayton, Michael and Karen Symes outside council offices with the petition, which called for weekly food waste collections

More than 1,000 people signed the petition, which was handed in at HDC’s offices last week.

Lucy, who has a two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, felt it was important to act now to help reduce carbon emissions given last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

She said: “Every year counts, every action counts and unfortunately as much as we can do on a small scale we need councils to roll this out on a wider scale.”

The council said it and other authorities were working with the county council to put appropriate collection systems and disposal infrastructure in place to enable the introduction of food waste collections, which need to happen by 2023 in order to meet Government target dates.

Campaigners hand in the petition at HDC's offices

Campaigners hand in the petition at HDC's offices

But Lucy said: “Let’s be the leaders. Even though we are doing really well for recycling we need to decrease the pressure on landfill.”

At the moment the Biffa plant near Warnham processes food waste from black bag rubbish.

While households do need to reduce the amount of food they throw away in the first place, Lucy argued separate collections would be far more carbon efficient than the current arrangements.

She added: “28 per cent of our general waste is food.

“If that’s being taken out it reduces stress on landfill and it will mean we are not having to resort to drastic measures like incineration.”

She thanked Labour for its support and both Karen Park and Rosemary Couchman for helping collect signatures.

Carol Hayton, from the Horsham Labour Party, said: “It is clear from our conversations with local residents, that particularly in view of the council’s poorly thought out decision to reduce the general waste collection to once a fortnight, people are keen to benefit from this recycling service, which is available in many areas across the country.

“Not only will it reduce the problems experienced over the summer with maggots and flies but will help us address our concerns about the impact of the waste we create on our environment.”

Campaigners hoped the demand for the service, demonstrated by the number of residents who supported the petition, would have ensured a formal debate would take place at a council meeting. They said requests for a debate or a meeting with the relevant council officer or cabinet member were declined.

A council spokesman added: “Food waste collection is part of a Government Resource and Waste Strategy consultation which all authorities are being consulted on.

“There is also an option for the public to respond which may be an option for this particular lobby group to consider.”

The consultation runs until May. Visit the Government’s website for more information.