FOOD waste collections will start in Dudley at some point before the end of March 2026 the council has confirmed.

The collections will be part of the normal recycling and rubbish collection process. Residents will be issued with a dedicated container, called a caddy, for a variety of material.

The waste will be collected at the kerbside and taken to a recycling facility where  it will be turned into biofuel or fertiliser.

A meeting of the council’s Climate Change Select Committee on March 15 was told funding to set up the scheme has now been made available from the government.

A total of just under £2.7m  will be divided up into £341,055 to buy small kitchen caddies, £640,743 for larger kerbside caddies and £111,834 to supply bins for communal blocks.

The rest of the cash would be for the council to buy vehicles to carry out the kerbside collection.

Councillors at the meeting were told the authority is yet to work out the day to day costs of running the scheme, which could be covered by selling the waste for recycling.

The closest facility for handling food waste is the Severn Trent plant off the A449 near Kinver which treats up 50,000 tonnes each year.

Committee vice-chairman, Cllr Thomas Russon, told the meeting he had visited the Kinver plant and described it as ‘very inspiring’.

Cllr Karl Denning thought the council should be more ambitious by processing the waste closer to home to avoid adding greenhouse gases to the air as the food is transported further afield.

Cllr Denning said: “We are trying to save the planet but we are costing the planet, we have got to keep it local.

“There has got to be ways of not travelling to South Staffordshire and using their facilities, there has got to be something we can do.”

When the scheme gets under way collections will be weekly for food waste and biodegradable material like egg shells, tea bags and vegetable skins.

Unsuitable items for processing include cooking oil, fat, packaging and cat litter.