FROM this week Torfaen residents will see a change in their food waste caddy liners.

Changes in the way the borough’s food waste is recycled now means that residents can reuse bread bags or similar items as food waste caddy liners.

Caddy liners will still be provided for those you want them, but will be made of recycled plastic.

The new food waste caddy liners will be replacing the corn starch liners which residents previously used, which is expected to save the local authority £36,000 annually.

The new caddy liners will be made possible following a partnership between BLaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire councils. It has seen the councils use Anaerobic Digestion (AD) treatment for food waste. The process sees food waste removed from bags, the bags squeezed dry, and then sent to an Energy from Waste (Efw) facility to produce electricity. But the AD process cannot handle compostable liners which the council previously offered to residents. 

As a result, the three councils are jointly procuring food waste caddy liners so further financial savings can be made. 

And during the next four to six weeks Torfaen residents will notice that food waste caddy liners will have either Monmouthshire or Blaenau Gwent council branding on them. This will continue until Torfaen council's new branded caddy liners are available.

Due to these changes residents are being encouraged to re-use their old plastic bags such as bread bags, frozen food bags, potato bags and cereal bags as food waste caddy liners before reaching for the council-provided caddy liners.

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, said: “The council has provided food waste caddy liners for several years and our feedback showed this is an important factor in encouraging residents to recycle more food waste.

“Our new contract, in partnership with neighbouring local authorities, involves a new way to treat the food waste which separates the old compostable bags from the food waste at the start of the process. This means there is no benefit to using the compostable bags and actually, they result in less recycling because the food sticks to them. 

“Working as a partnership, the council are jointly procuring food waste caddy liners so further financial savings can be made.   “Therefore, in the meantime all three local authorities will be sharing their remaining stocks of old corn starch food waste caddy liners. As a result it’s likely that some of the bags used in Torfaen will be branded as Monmouthshire or Blaenau Gwent.

“Treating food waste using the AD process means people can find another use for their single use bags such as bread bags, many of which end up in general waste anyway. By using the bags they are helping recycle more of their food waste, re-using their surplus plastic bags and if you run out of caddy liners you won’t have to rush out for a new supply of bags.

“I prefer not to use single use bags for my food waste, plastic or compostable, but I understand some residents will prefer to use a bag. Reduce, reuse and recycle is our key message and we are grateful to residents for continuing to join us on our missions to make Torfaen a clean and green place.”

For more information about visit the council’s bins and recycling webpages