Herefordshire Council says it expects to become the first local authority in the country to use a different way of collecting rubbish.

Cabinet members agreed yesterday to a new waste service specification, including that Herefordshire’s food waste will be collected weekly by bike.

Cabinet gave pedal-powered collections the green light after debating the idea during the meeting.

Cargo bikes pushing ahead

A cargo bike food waste collection will begin in central Hereford.

The zero-carbon approach will see kitchen scraps turned into compost. While this is a first for any UK council, similar approaches have already been adopted elsewhere.

A BBC report shows food collection by bike is already underway in Paris.

Meanwhile, online retailer Amazon is reported to be launching a fleet of e-cargo bikes to replace van deliveries in London.

New waste collections mandatory

The council’s environmentally-friendly step is part of a new waste and recycling collection service for Herefordshire that will also include a fortnightly garden waste collection service, which councils must introduce as part of new government legislation.

The new enhanced service will provide much more recycling capacity and will improve both the quantity and quality of recycling.

Residents will keep the bins they already have for general waste and recycling. The council will meet the one-off cost of additional bins needed to separate different types of waste.

This will be offset by savings made every subsequent year in reduced disposal costs.

Losing sleep over climate emergency

Gemma Davies, cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets, said: "I am absolutely thrilled with this.

"Not just that we’re introducing this environmentally-friendly collection service but also that we expect ours to be the very first council in the country to do so.

"How good it is to lead in the critical race to combat our climate emergency. Making these changes is a very useful way for us all to get involved in helping our environment.

"I’m grateful to all the members who supported this plan and I’m confident Herefordshire residents will also get behind it. The change will benefit us all.”