The introduction of weekly waste food collections by 2026 could leave two Suffolk councils more than £500,000 out of pocket.

The collection of food waste and glass for recycling are required under the Government’s Simpler Recycling rules.

Babergh District Council says government funding for the new bin lorries, caddies and bins is £259,000 short of what would be required.

Mid Suffolk District Council faces a shortfall of £254,000.

East Anglian Daily Times:

John Ward, Babergh cabinet member for finance, assets and investments, said: “I am seriously concerned about the gap now that’s appearing in the new burden’s funding. A couple of years ago, the government was promising 100% new burdens funding. Now we can see that there’s a gap in the capital funding and we don’t yet know about the revenue funding for new burdens.

“It’s additional pressure on our budget but we have been aware that this is going to come up. It means more difficult decisions on our budget.”

Under the plans, each household would be provided with a five-lite food waste caddy for their kitchen and a larger 23-litre caddy to be kept outside.

When the policy was adopted by East Suffolk Council earlier this month, some were quick to raise concerns about adding another bin to the house, a concern echoed by the Babergh council leader.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Councillor David Busby said: “Hopefully we have plans so we don’t have to have 25 bins in the kitchen. I’ve seen the way they do it in Colchester and it’s an absolute nightmare having all these different bags and bins for different items.

“I’m really worried about the way this is going to operate — if you have a small kitchen and a few kids knocking around, having all these things in the kitchen is not going to be hygienic.”

Each council would require seven food waste collection vehicles and would share three spare bin lorries.

It has not yet been decided if these would be electric lorries or HVO fuel.

It is understood both councils are appealing the amount of government funding they are set to receive.

A council spokesperson said: “We are taking all necessary steps in order to be able to bring in the new statutory requirements as cost effectively and efficiently as possible for our residents, and are looking forward to receiving the remaining information we need from central government regarding implementation and funding in the meantime.”

Mid Suffolk Cabinet will meet to discuss procurement of the necessary bins and vehicles next week.