WORCESTER City Council looks set to be forced by the government to introduce a food waste collection as part of plans to stop leftovers going to landfill.

A spokesman for the authority says the government’s announcement meant they would now be looking to provide the service to residents.

The government has set out plans, in its Environment Bill, for food waste to be collected separately from general black bin rubbish in all households by 2023.

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The aim is cut the amount of food wasted and tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

A Press Association investigation found Worcester City Council was one of 160 councils nationwide that currently do not provide the service for their residents.

If all councils are forced to adopt the scheme, the Press Association found 1.35 million tonnes more food waste would be picked up by 2029, cutting greenhouse gases from food rotting in landfill by an estimated 1.25 million tonnes a year.

The authority has previously looked into rolling out a third bin for unwanted food, but found it would come to £973,000 just to get it off the ground including £50,000 for a PR offensive to encourage people to take it seriously. A report also found, after being introduced, it would cost another £544,000 every year in recurring costs like fuel and staffing. Councillors decided not to pursue the scheme.

A city centre spokesman said: “We do not currently provide a food waste collection service. In the light of the government bill we are examining options for a service.

“We always encourage our residents to do home composting whenever possible, as this is the most environmentally efficient way of dealing with food waste.”

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, said it supported ambitions to reduce food waste.

But David Renard, from the LGA, added: “Councils would need to be fully funded to meet new costs from introducing weekly food waste collections.”