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Fears after foot and mouth disease lead to Ipswich kitchen waste ban

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:22 12 April 2019

From May brown bins in Ipswich can only be used for garden waste.

From May brown bins in Ipswich can only be used for garden waste.

Is a foreign bacteria like foot and mouth disease or swine fever lurking in your Ipswich kitchen? That's the fear that has prompted a ban on fruit and vegetables in the town's brown bins.

If kitchen waste is spotted in brown bins from May, they will not be collected by Ipswich couincil.If kitchen waste is spotted in brown bins from May, they will not be collected by Ipswich couincil.

From May 1, no kitchen waste can be put in brown recycling bins – it either has to go in your black bin to be taken to the incinerator or it could go in a compost bin for you to eventually put on your own garden.

The change has come because Ipswich Council has changed the company that handles its compostable waste – and it will no longer be able to get it hot enough to destroy potentially harmful bacteria that may have arrived in vegetable fruit waste that has come from abroad.

A statement from the composting plant said: "Following the foot and mouth and swine fever epidemics in early 2000s the Government commissioned a study to assess the risk of harmful bacteria from compost derived from kerbside collections re-entering the animal food chain.

"The report that was commissioned assessed that the risk of harmful bacteria from waste, which had been in a kitchen, was greater than that directly from the garden.

"As a result, the composting of 'kitchen botanicals' such as lettuce leaves and cauliflower leaves require a method of composting which provides extra levels of certainty that the temperature and time needed to kill any harmful bacteria are met.

"The process that your green garden waste will go to is carefully controlled and the compost that is produced is tested to confirm that harmful bacteria are not present."

From May 1 brown bins can only be used for: grass cuttings, shrub and tree prunings, hedge trimmings, small branches, shrubs, flowers, leaves, windfall fruit and non-invasive weeds.

They cannot be used for kitchen waste including vegetable or fruit peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, shredded paper, egg boxes, stones, soil, or anything in bags.

A spokesman for the borough said that refuse collection staff would be checking brown bins before they were emptied – and if it was clear that they had kitchen waste in them they would be left uncollected to avoid contaminating the rest of the lorryload of compostable material which could otherwise be rejected at the processing plant.

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