A new food waste collection service is set to be introduced in the city.

Brighton and Hove City Council is set to roll out the new service “soon” as part of an effort to improve the city’s poor recycling rates, which are among the worst in the country.

Plans from the Labour administration also include accepting more items for recycling.

The measures were commitments made by the Labour group in their party’s manifesto at the local election last year.

Tim Rowkins, the council’s environment lead, said: “We will soon be introducing a food waste collection service. Once this starts, it will greatly increase the overall tonnage of materials we recycle.

“We are also making plans to be able to accept materials such as plastic tubs and trays that we don’t currently recycle.”

Brighton and Hove’s recycling rate is among the worst in the country and has barely improved in more than a decade, recent figures reveal.

Only 27.7 per cent of household waste was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2022-23 - the worst of any local authority in Sussex.

Since 2010, the recycling rate has only once reached 30 per cent, in 2021-22, and at one point fell to just 24.6 per cent, in 2015-16.

Cllr Rowkins said: “We’re working hard to improve the city’s recycling rates, which have been too low for too long. It is a top priority for us.”

The council’s 30-year contract with Veolia, signed in 2003 by the then Labour-led administration, has often been blamed for the city’s poor recycling rate, with claims that the deal struck does not allow for certain items, such as plastic trays, to be recycled.

However, Tim Rowkins, Brighton and Hove City Council’s environment lead, refuted those claims.

He said: “There has been the myth that the reason we can’t recycle more items is because of the contract with Veolia - this is not the case.

“The primary obstacle to accepting more items is the size and configuration of our materials recovery facility. We are working on plans to address this.”

Cllr Rowkins also said that a key issue with recycling in the city is contamination - items that cannot be currently recycled being placed in recycling bins.

He said: “Common items that should not go in with recycling include plastic pots, tubs and trays, food and drink cartons such as tetrapaks and soft plastics like carrier bags and bread packaging.

“We are currently developing new guidance to improve public awareness of what can be recycled and what can’t.

“We can currently collect paper and cardboard, cans, tins and aerosols, and all plastic bottles, including shampoo bottles.”

The council also recently agreed to roll out 54 new bins for food and drink cartons at recycling points, with 21 new bins for waste electrical and electronic equipment to be added shortly.

“These are all materials we know will actually be recycled, not sent to landfill or sent abroad,” Cllr Rowkins said.

More information about recycling in the city can be found on the council’s website.