Just to add my comments to the debate.
It is true that most of Lewisham black bin waste gets burnt, but our recycling rates are low. (According the the national measures)
What is annoying is that when people do compost /reduce usage that waste is not counted as recycled because the Council is not picking it up. Therefore a family with wormery and compost heap, who is careful and not consuming products with lots of packaging, reuse items and share amongst friends and neighbours may generate only little waste, but because it is mostly black bin stuff their recycled % is low as the Council is not doing the work for them. So the best form of reducing waste ie not generating it in the first place is not recognised by the national formula.
As I seem to remember reasons for introducing collections of food waste were in no particular order:
Need for more recycled waste to be collected( about a third of black bin waste has been food so opportunity to make better figures)
Avoid future penalties if certain recycling rates are not achieved (this was another significant consideration, a bit perverse considering our contribution to landfill is negligible)
Current contract was at the renewal / end stage, so options have been looked at again
I take on the points that the communication about what goes in what bin etc could be improved. I feel for those responsible as whatever they do it is rarely enough for some.
(To illustrate: I was approving a leaflet about local assembly last year which was delivered to every household in Forest Hill Ward. On the back page we had all the information about what goes into what bin and what can’t be recycled. Still my husband maintained that it was OK to put textile in the green bin. He promptly recycled the leaflet before reading it fully)