NORTH Lanarkshire Council has announced the creation of 36 full-time jobs in a bid to improve its recycling rate.
Last month the local authority approved adding food waste collections to its recycling regime which it is hoped will prevent 5,000 tonnes going to landfill.
North Lanarkshire residents will be given small (seven litre) kitchen caddies, funded by Zero Waste Scotland, and an initial supply of biodegradable cornstarch bags.
When the small caddy is full, the bag is transferred into a larger (23 litre), outside caddy.
Those will be collected from kerbsides on a weekly basis by a fleet of 10 new dedicated food waste collection vehicles, with 18 drivers and 18 refuse collectors being employed to carry out the job.
While an initial investment is required to set up the new service and fund the new posts, the council is working with Zero Waste Scotland to examine the most cost-efficient options and to access additional funding.
It is confident its investment will be more than offset by savings on landfill tax.
Head of land services Kenneth Wilson said: “Naturally there is an initial cost in setting up the scheme – but running it will ultimately save us millions in landfill tax.
“We’re very aware of the need to keep increasing recycling, and introducing new methods of doing so has been calculated into our budgets.
“Zero Waste Scotland has provided invaluable help, support and advice in developing our plans for the new service, which we are certain offers the most efficient and effective option for both the council and residents.”
Food waste collections will be introduced to North Lanarkshire gradually, beginning at the end of 2012.
Find hints and tips to help you avoid wasting food at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.