Food waste recycling

We have introduced free food waste collections for households with enough space at the front of their property for a food waste caddy, for example a front garden or driveway.

If we missed your food waste collection, report a missed collection after 4pm on your collection day. 

If your neighbours have received their caddies but we missed you, or to order a replacement caddy, complete the order a food waste recycling caddy form.

Food waste collections

We have rolled out food waste collections across the whole borough to all eligible households, following a successful trial in Southfields and Bedford Hill.  

Collections for eligible households have now started. Collections for residents in blocks of flats will start later in the year.

Food waste will be collected on your normal collection day, along with rubbish, recycling and small electricals. 

Let us know if you've got a question about the new service.


Households are eligible for food waste collections if they have enough space at the front of the property for a food waste caddy, e.g. a front garden or driveway.


Separate vehicles now collect your rubbish, recycling, food waste and small electricals and will come at different times during the day.

And over the coming weeks, we will move over to a new fleet of more efficient vehicles that run on bio-fuel. This will result in up to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions.  

Collection times

Put your rubbish, recycling, food waste and small electricals out together at the same time. This should be by 6.30am on collection day, and no earlier than 6.30pm the night before. Your rubbish and recycling is collected earlier than you may be used to previously. 

Your collections will be at different times during the day, up until 5pm, so don’t worry if some collections are later than you are used to.

Did we miss you? Let us know after 5pm using our report a missed collection form.

Food waste caddies

All eligible properties now have their food waste caddies. If your neighbours have received their caddies but you haven't, let us know we missed you.

You will have received:

  • An outdoor brown caddy (23 litre)
  • An indoor silver caddy (5 litre)
  • A starter pack of compostable caddy liners to line your silver caddy
  • A booklet explaining all about your new food waste collection service

The 5 litre food waste caddy can be kept in your kitchen. It can be emptied into your larger outdoor caddy throughout the week.

The outdoor brown caddy should be stored outside with the handle in the 'down' position, as pictured, to lock the lid and protect it from animals.

Lining your caddy

Lining your caddy can help keep it clean and odour-free.

Compostable starch liners are recommended, but you can also use old newspaper, paper bags or kitchen roll, or just rinse your caddy after emptying.

Compostable liners are made of corn or potato starch and will biodegrade completely in as few as 30 days in a controlled commercial process.

When purchasing liners, ensure they are marked as conforming to composting standard EN13432 and display the 'seedling' logo below.

Do not use any other plastic liner.

How to leave your food waste out

Food waste is collected weekly on your usual collection day, but in a different vehicle from your rubbish and recycling collections.

It can be placed just inside the front entrance of your property along with any clear recycling sacks and/or rubbish.

Your food waste caddy will not be emptied if it contains any items we cannot recycle.

What you can and can't recycle

You can put all cooked and raw food in your caddies. This includes:

  • Plate scrapings
  • Bread and pastries
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings (including fruit stones)
  • Meat, fish and bones (cooked or uncooked)
  • Eggshells and eggs
  • Dairy products (e.g. cheese)
  • Tea bags (any type) and coffee grounds

You can recycle any mouldy or out of date food including ready meals – just remove the packaging.

You can't put this waste in your food waste caddy:

  • Liquid food waste, milk or oils
  • Biodegradable plastic coffee pods
  • Compostable packaging (except compostable caddy liners)
  • Any other plastics/bio plastics (e.g. Vegware)
  • Paper or kitchen roll (except to line the caddy)
  • Foil or cling film
  • Garden waste

Missed food waste collection

If we missed your food waste collection, please report a missed collection after 4pm on your collection day. 

How food is recycled

The food waste you produce is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility, where it’s turned into renewable energy and an agricultural fertiliser.

Do not add any plastic or packing to your food waste as this can contaminate the agricultural fertiliser. 

Reducing food waste

Reducing food waste and recycling as much as you can helps to reduce both environmental impacts and costs. An average family with children can save £60 per month by reducing their food waste.

Less food thrown away means less impact on the environment from:

  • Food production and distribution
  • Collecting and disposing of it when it gets thrown away

To reduce food waste you can:

  • Plan your meals - Meal planning is one of the most effective ways you can save on your food bills and reduce waste. A meal plan will encourage you to think about the food you cook and help you only buy what you need
  • Use what you have - Keep track of your fresh food and leftovers and eat them before they go bad
  • Check your fridge temperature - Your fridge temperature should be set between 0 and 5°C. Storing food at a lower temperature can significantly extend storage lives, giving you more opportunities to use fresh food
  • Use your freezer - Most food, raw or cooked, can be frozen without a problem. Freezing food before its use-by date can save you money and reduce waste
  • Measure your portions - You can reduce waste by only cooking the amount of food you need. Try the Love Food, Hate Waste food portion calculator for recommended average portion sizes

Home composting

You can produce your own compost at home using leftovers and food scraps. Find out how to compost at home.

Buy home composting containers

You can buy compost bins and wormeries from GetComposting. They provide a wide range of affordable containers that are available via mail order.


If you have any questions about food waste collections you can:

  • Use our contact form and we will get back to you
  • Call us on 020 8871 8558