Brown bins U-turn: Welwyn Hatfield Council changes food waste policy

PUBLISHED: 11:56 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 03 November 2017

Welwyn Hatfield Council is reviewing what residents can put in the garden waste bins.

Welwyn Hatfield Council is reviewing what residents can put in the garden waste bins.

Alan Davies

Welwyn Hatfield Council has performed a U-turn on its policy which stopped residents putting food waste in their brown bins.

The borough council banned any food leftovers being placed with garden waste after introducing its controversial £35 annual charge in April this year.

However, the local authority today announced that following a review residents will be allowed to do just that.

A spokeswoman said: “Residents who have paid for the removal of garden waste in a brown bin will be pleased to note that if they put compostable food waste in it together with their garden waste, the council will still empty the bin and take all the contents away for composting, so long as it does not contain anything other than compostable garden and food waste.

“Obviously, putting food waste in the brown bin will reduce the amount of garden waste that can be put in there for removal, for which you have paid, but the bin will still be taken away.”

The policy shift follows a backlash from critics who claimed that forcing residents to put food waste in black bins was environmentally damaging, as it is all sent to landfill.

Council leader John Dean said: “Since introducing the garden waste subscriptions we have seen nearly 23,000 people sign up to the service.

“I am sure they will be keen to know they can also put food waste in the brown bin, which is sent for composting.”

Explaining the legal implications, a council document says: “Independent legal advice has been sought regarding the placing of food waste into the brown bins and whilst it is possible for the council to collect brown bins containing a mixture of garden and food waste, the council will need to make it clear that the charge is for the collection of garden waste only and that we will continue to collect the food waste for free.”

To check what can go in your bins, visit

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