TEST Valley’s environment chief has confirmed that the council has no plans to bring in a separate food waste collection service, as “it won’t have the same effect in Hampshire” as in other parts of the country.

The decision comes after a call from Baddesley member Alan Dowden, who asked the council what its response will be to the government’s new National Waste Strategy, aimed at reducing food rubbish.

One of the ideas proposed by ministers was the introduction of a separate collection for food, which would be conducted by councils across the UK. This, they say, is to stop food going to landfill sites, where its decomposition creates greenhouse gases.

However, Councillor Graham Stallard told members of the borough authority’s Full Council meeting that the national plans are still in a consultation phase, and such is “not a directive” – meaning the authority doesn’t yet have to adopt it.

He added that “it doesn’t make sense to invest potentially huge sums of money” in the idea, when the council can educate residents to change their behaviours, by – for example – encouraging composting.

Currently, waste is collected in Test Valley by Hampshire County Council, who through their disposal contractor, disposes of the waste by burning it to produce power.

Cllr Stallard said that only 6% of our waste goes to landfill and that 94% is either recycled or turned into electricity.

Nevertheless, Cllr Dowden said he would keep fighting for food waste to be collected separately if ministers decide not to make their new waster strategy compulsory.

He said: “If the government are genuine in tackling the waste issue, then they need to put this through as a directive.”

However, in his response to the Lib Dem member, Cllr Stallard said: “It may be the case that introducing a separate weekly food waste collection may reduce greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the country, where the treatment method is landfill, but it won’t have the same effect in Hampshire.

“Waste Disposal is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council and, through their disposal contractor, the treatment route is energy recovery where the waste is burnt to produce power. It is crucially important to point out that only 6% of our waste goes to landfill and that 94% is either recycled or turned into electricity.

He added: “Introducing food waste collection would come at a significant cost burden to the council both in terms of the capital funding needed to set up a scheme and the ongoing revenue to deliver it.”