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Food waste cycle

You could save yourself up to £60 a month by reducing the amount of food you throw away*.

Most people produce food waste, whether it is unavoidable such as egg shells, bones and banana skins or avoidable such as brown bananas, uneaten leftovers and mouldy bread. The average rubbish bin is around 30% food waste.

7 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, costing £12.5 billion!

Households account for 50% of food waste in the UK. The rest is from producers, factories, supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses.

Have a look at your food isn't rubbish to see the benefits of reducing food waste and how it can save you money.

How can I reduce my food waste?

There are two main reasons why we throw away good food, we prepare or cook too much or we don't use it in time. The food waste cycle on the right shows you how you can reduce your food waste. Visit Love Food Hate Waste for advice on storage, portions and planning. There is a huge selection of recipes on the website to encourage you to use leftovers etc.

Note: the diagram refers to food waste recycling but not all properties in the City of London have access to a food waste recycling service due to space limitations.​

*According to Love Food, Hate Waste​​​

What can I do with any food waste that I do have?

Man using food waste caddy

Some properties in the City have access to a food waste recycling service. If you do not, please dispose of any food waste in your rubbish bin.

Do not put it in your clear recycling bag.

If you do have a food waste recycling service use the food waste caddy with a compostable liner. You can recycle all cooked and uncooked food waste, including:

  • Meat and bones
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish and fish bones
  • Bread and pastries
  • Beans, lentils and grains
  • Cooked leftovers
  • Tea and coffee grounds
  • Fruit/vegetables and peelings

Please email the Recycling Team or call us on 020 7606 3110 if you have any questions about the food waste recycling service or would like to order more compostable liners.

Get in touch if you would like us to consider your property for the food waste collection service.

Will my food caddy smell?

No. The caddy is vented to allow air to circulate and reduce moisture. You can also add a layer of kitchen roll at the bottom to absorb moisture. Emptying your caddy regularly will help to avoid it smelling.

How is my food waste collected?

This will depend where you live. Estates have a door to door collection service so simply tie up the liner and place the caddy with the liner inside, outside your front door at the same time as your recycling collection. You can also take the food waste to your bin store area.

Private blocks will have a bin store with a brown food waste bin inside.

Where does my food waste go?

Your food waste is taken to a specialised facility in Milton Keynes. The food waste is turned into compost which is used on local farmland to improve the soil and grow more food.

How to use the food waste service

  • Only use the compostable liners provided, do not use plastic bags.
  • Newspaper can be used instead of the compostable liners.
  • Remove all the packaging from the food before putting it in the caddy.
  • Don't put liquid, oil or liquid fat in the caddy as this makes a mess and will increase the likelihood of it smelling.
  • Tie the liner before putting it out for collection or taking it to the food waste bin - don't overfill the caddy because you won't be able to tie up the liner.
  • Put a folded sheet of kitchen roll on the base of the caddy to absorb any moisture.

Further information

For more advice from real food waste recyclers in a variety of households and family sizes watch the videos on the Recyclenow website.

20 May 2015
Last Modified:
26 September 2019