Decision details

Simpler Recycling - Food Waste Collection Service

Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Operations

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Portfolio Holder for Operations will be asked to make decisions on various elements relating to the introduction of a food waste collection service as part of the Government’s ‘Simpler Recycling’ requirements.





1.       The principle of the introduction of a weekly household separate food waste collection service from 1 April 2026 be approved to meet new statutory requirements. Approval is also given for seeking to provide a commercial food waste collection service to qualifying businesses from 1 April 2025 to meet new statutory requirements.


2.       Delegated authority be given to the Director for Operations, in consultation with themselves as Portfolio Holder for Operations, to proceed with procurement individually and/or collectively with partner councils of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, to deliver the necessary equipment in respect of vehicles and bins which is expected to be funded by new burdens funding as well as any wider waste infrastructure required.


3.       The procurement outlined in (2) above will need to take due account of the new procurement legislation that is expected to come into effect later in 2024.  


4.       Agreement be given to a detailed plan setting out the implementation arrangements for the new food waste collection service, including that any further budget provision required to fund this process, be subject to separate consideration collectively by Cabinet (or, if agreed, Portfolio Holder for Operations) at a later date, and if necessary, Council.


5.       A period of engagement be undertaken with all West Suffolk Councillors during March 2024 setting out the requirements and implications of the new statutory food waste collection service. This includes the potential implications of other aspects of the Government’s ‘Simpler Recycling’ requirements, including potential changes to recycling and residual waste collections.

Reasons for the decision:

Through the Environment Act 2021, Government has legislated for councils to align their household waste and recycling services with new nationwide ‘Simpler Recycling’ requirements by 31 March 2026. Suffolk councils already meet many of the requirements, but new services or the alteration to existing services will need to be provided to collect:


        Glass bottles and jars


        Food waste on a weekly basis

        Plastic film (by April 2027)


The capacity of the supply chain to meet unprecedented nationwide demand for specialist vehicles and bins is a major risk to meeting these requirements. Much of the Suffolk requirement for vehicles and bins will relate to introducing a new collection service for food waste, so Suffolk councils are being asked to take food waste collection service decisions by early April 2024. West Suffolk Council’s Portfolio Holder for Operations has taken relevant decisions accordingly, the justification for which is set out in section 2 of Report number: CAB/WS/24/020.  


Further final decisions on recycling and refuse service changes will need to be taken by early summer 2024 and a further report with options and recommendations for those services will follow at a later date.

Alternative options considered:

There are no alternative options to providing a food waste collection service. The requirement has been mandated by Government legislation which clearly sets-out the nature of the service and timescales for its introduction.

Publication date: 05/04/2024

Date of decision: 04/04/2024

Effective from: 13/04/2024

Accompanying Documents: