Food waste recycling

Organic (food and garden) waste makes up 38% of the total waste produced by residents. This waste could be recycled and composted to help maintain a clean and green environment.

We provide free food waste recycling collection services for houses. You can request your free food waste boxes from us and find out about how to use them.

Why it is important

Recycling food waste is as important as recycling other household rubbish like glass, cans and paper. When organic waste is put in landfill it biodegrades and has serious environmental consequences.

By separating your food waste and not putting it in your normal rubbish sacks, you will reduce the amount going to landfill. It will also help to stop animals tearing open your black sacks.

What to put in your food waste caddy
Yes No
All solid food waste including cooked food Liquid food waste
Plate scrapings Milk
Meat Oils
Fish Bio-degradable coffee pods
Bakery products  
Egg shells  
Tea bags  

Get top tips on recycling food waste from Recycle Now.

How your food waste is processed

We bulk the material for transport to Bio Collectors where it is anaerobically digested (this means it is broken down without the presence of oxygen), in a sealed system. The process uses naturally occurring micro-organisms to break down the organic matter into fertiliser whilst also producing biogas. The biogas is converted into electricity and heat using a combined heat and power (CHP) engine. The biofertiliser is used on farm land to grow crops.

The process used is prescribed by law, certified by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and regularly monitored by the Environment Agency.

Home composting

It is difficult to home compost all food waste unless you use a container designed for this purpose (e.g. Green Johanna or Green Cone). Uncooked fruit and vegetables are great home composting material, but cooked vegetables, baked goods, meat and fish are liable to attract vermin unless a specialist container is used. Wormeries can be used on balconies and 'Bokashi' systems are designed for indoor usage. Get full details of special offers on home composting equipment (just enter your postcode).

Reducing food waste

Most households can significantly reduce the amount of food they waste. Get detailed information and advice on how to do so from the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign.

Updated: 26 February 2019