Vital Earth has for a number of years recycled food and garden waste from Derbyshire Dales collections into compost, used in horticulture and sold in bags at local garden centres.

The council has been negotiating with Serco on new arrangements and has identified alternative recycling sites in the north and south of Derbyshire that will take the district's garden waste, which means garden waste collections can continue unchanged for residents on bin collections.

However, while one of the new sites will accept garden waste in compostable sacks, the other will not, so for the next four weeks residents are being asked to mix food waste in their domestic waste containers.

A council spokesperson apologised for the inconvenience and said ‘We have identified an alternative option for food waste disposal and will update residents on this in four weeks when operational details have been finalised with Serco.’