Anaerobic Digestion trade association welcomes Defra’s separate food waste collections in England announcement

Today, Defra published its long awaited response to the Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England setting out guidelines and timelines for Local Authorities (LAs) to roll out food waste collections.

Charlotte Morton OBE, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), said: “ About time! – was our first reaction as separate food waste collections have been on the agenda for many years now, with the deadlines repeatedly delayed (1).


Separate food waste collections are the cornerstone for an effective implementation of Defra’s Food and Drink Waste Hierarchy and now Local Authorities and anaerobic digestion (AD) operators can plan with confidence to put contracts and infrastructure in place to ensure inedible food waste goes to AD treatment as the first recycling option. The food waste collected will provide an invaluable new source of feedstock for AD plants to produce renewable gas for heat, electricity and transport fuel, and biofertilisers for soil health and improved crop yields (2).


It’s a great step forward to establish a circular economy around food waste and food production for the benefit of all, and to ensure increased energy and food security in England.  We’re all winners in this and it is imperative that no further delays are incurred in rolling out separate food waste collections.”


(1) The response from Defra was due in 2021. The delays created a state of paralysis for LAs, which, without clear timeframes and funding information, had been unable to work toward their legal targets proactively. The initial deadline for mandatory separate food waste collection in England was 2023 – ie this year.

(2) Under the Green Gas Support Scheme, AD operators are required to generate at least 50% of biogas from waste.