Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's environment chief will investigate the potential of food waste collections following criticism of a number of schemes aimed at increasing the borough's poor recycling rate.

As reported in this week's edition of The Gazette, borough council officers will now look into a food waste collection scheme across Basingstoke and Deane, as a way to increase the borough's 25 per cent recycling rate.

A report to the community, environment and partnerships committee last month estimated that the scheme would cost £450,000 to implement and the annual operating cost of the scheme would be around £1.25million.

Councillor Hayley Eachus, Cabinet member for community services and the environment, told The Gazette: "My point of view is that it is important to make sure this is what residents really want.

“This administration is committed to weekly collections. If we are going to do stuff like that (food waste), it is highly likely that there will be an increase in council tax and we want to work to freeze it again.

“My point of view is that it is too costly and I don’t believe the residents of Basingstoke and Deane want it. But what does the public think, that’s what I want to know.”

But Cllr Jack Cousens, Labour councillor for Brookvale and Kings Furlong, has urged the council to implement the scheme.

He said: "If we look at the last set of data that came out, the top 10 councils and the top 10 most improved councils had food waste collections so it is a prerequisite to a good recycling rate and the fact we have the anaerobic digester in Dummer on our doorstep means we should be using it.

“I am glad it is on the table as before it was discounted as something they didn’t want to do and I am more than happy to push us in that direction.”

But what do you think? Take part in our poll below and the result will be given to Cllr Hayley Eachus.