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Microchipped food waste bins rolled out in Denbighshire to promote recycling

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Food waste bins in Denbighshire are being microchipped as part of a trial to help encourage more people to recycle.

630 properties in parts of Corwen, Ruthin, Prestatyn and Rhyl are part of the new initiative.

The microchips will allow the council to identify which caddies are put out and which are not.

The council said the new scheme will help them reach Welsh Government's recycling targets as they can identify and work with those who do not currently recycle food waste.

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Food waste collected by Denbighshire is turned into fertiliser used by farmers in north Wales. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The six-month trial was rolled out on Tuesday 12 November and is part of a range of projects aimed at encouraging people to recycle food waste.

The microchips will show Denbighshire County Council which properties are using their caddy and putting it out for recycling, and which are not. The council said they already collect this kind of information but the microchips will help them collect the data more "quickly and efficiently".

They will then use the data collected "to visit people who are not using the orange caddy system over long periods and offer support to encourage them to recycle."

The food waste collectors will be wearing wristbands that identify when a microchipped caddy is being picked up. The collector can also press a button to electronically log if the caddy they pick up is broken or contaminated with waste other than food.

The food waste collectors will be wearing wristbands that identify when a microchipped caddy is being picked up. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Tony Ward, Denbighshire's Head of Highways, Facilities and Environmental Services said despite high levels of recycling in Denbighshire, more focus on recycling food waste is needed.

To hit the recycling targets set by Welsh Government we need to make sure all our food waste is recycled and not wasted.

This is a ground-breaking project and we will be following the results of this initiative with great interest, to see whether it makes a difference to recycling rates and the public's response to the scheme.

– Tony Ward, Head of Highways, Facilities and Environmental Services

Watch what people think of their bins being microchipped:

Food waste collected by Denbighshire is taken to an anaerobic composting facility near St Asaph and turned into fertiliser. This fertiliser is then used by farmers in north Wales and the process also produces green energy for around 2,000 homes.

If the system helps increase recycling rates the council have said they will consider expanding the scheme to different areas in January 2020.

The person collecting the food bin can press a button to electronically log if the caddy they pick up is broken or contaminated with waste other than food. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales