TEIGNBRIDGE Council has launched a cash reward scheme for community organisations and residents, to encourage food waste recycling.

Each month there’ll be two top prizes of £100 and eight runner-up prizes of £25. Collection crews will randomly check the black bins of households which have registered. If no food waste is found in the black bin the householder will win the cash, and their chosen community group will also win the cash equivalent.

When registering, householders will be asked to select which group they are supporting from a drop down list of registered groups.

At the end of the scheme, the group that has the most supporters will also win a bonus prize of £1,000.

The scheme is supported by £40,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government and is part of Teignbridge’s new bin and recycling collection service.

Community organisations, including composting and recycling groups, schools, sports clubs and voluntary groups, can sign up to take part online. They’ll get a toolkit to help them encourage their members, friends and family to get involved. Participants will put reward stickers on their black bins to show they are part of the scheme.

Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge Council’s executive spokesman for environment services, said: ‘Recycling Together Rewards is a chance for us to try something new in Teignbridge, with real benefits for the local organisations involved.

‘Sending food waste for disposal is expensive. Instead we will be sending food waste to an anaerobic digester where it will be converted into electricity, saving both natural resources and money.

‘We’d love to see more community organisations and residents sign up and do their bit. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

‘Our residents are really good at recycling and composting and this is a great way to reward them and our community organisations as we start to roll out the new waste and recycling collections.’

Residents are being encouraged to either compost food waste at home, or place anything that cannot be reused, including meat, bones and dairy, into new food caddies, which are emptied weekly.

Teignbridge’s new waste and recycling scheme is being rolled out across the district in three phases. Phase one started at the beginning of September, two starts in October, and three in November.

The new scheme gives people weekly food waste collections, weekly recycling collections including mixed plastic packaging and cardboard, and optional garden waste collections at an additional charge.

Leaflets and new bins have been delivered to homes ahead of the phased rollout. Two to four weeks before the changes happen each home will get a new food waste container, a reusable sack for recycling paper, a recycling guide and collection calendar and a set of recycling box stickers.

Collection days will not change and the black bins, for items which can’t be recycled, reused or composted, will remain collected fortnightly. People don’t need to do anything until they receive the new equipment, and should still put out their bins as usual.