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Food waste

Food waste is collected weekly in your brown outdoor caddy. You can include:

  • all leftovers, including pet food and plate scrapings
  • dairy, cheese and eggs (including shells)
  • bread and pastries
  • pasta and rice
  • meat, bones and carcasses
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • fish bones and carcasses

For more information on what you can include in your caddy, including details of how to line your caddy see our food waste leaflet below.

Check which day your caddy and bins are collected here.

Reduce food waste

Avoidable food waste is food that could have consumed or used for another purpose.

Examples of avoidable food waste found in purple waste bins include:

  • unopened bags of salad
  • partly used loaves of bread (including their packaging)
  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • unopened food that had gone past its use by date

All of the above could have been placed in the food waste caddy. The packaging should be placed in the purple bin or recycling bin, depending on the type of material it was made from.


Another effective way of reducing avoidable food waste is by home composting. Things like unused fruit and vegetables or peelings can be used to make compost for gardens.

For more information about composting, visit Recycle Now. To find out more about composting in Hertfordshire, visit the Hertfordshire County Council website.

If you want to get more involved with composting, you can become a volunteer ambassador through the master composting scheme. This is made up of people helping to share the benefits of composting to local residents and interest groups.

Master composters come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for encouraging more environmentally friendly waste management practices.

For more information or queries about how to enrol as a master composter please email us at

Join our community

If you want to engage more with other like-minded waste conscious groups or individuals you might be interested to join our “Waste Warriors” Facebook group.

Our aim for the group is to develop a forum for engagement and the sharing of information between members of the group and for them to share waste to their friends who might not necessarily be aware of this information.

With an already keen and active community taking part we welcome more members to spread more positive and or thought-provoking content.

How to make the most of your food

In North Hertfordshire we throw away over 9,000 tonnes of food from our homes every year. Approximately 1 in 3 bags of food we buy. The average person wastes around £200 in food each year, rising to £700 for a family with children. 
An amazing 660,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away in the UK each year, of which 82% could have been avoided if it was better stored e.g. put into the freezer or the right amount purchased.

More than 80% of food waste is avoidable. The main reasons for throwing away food are:

  • cooking or preparing too much
  • forgetting to freeze or chill food to use later
  • forgetting what food is in the cupboards

You can visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for new ideas and updates related to food waste.

Ideas for leftovers

Download the easy recipes below and make your leftovers into something tasty.

Watch this video from WasteAware, a partnership between Hertfordshire County Council and the county’s 10 district and borough councils. It aims to help residents reduce their food waste and save money through four simple steps: plan ahead, store correctly, cook what you need and recycle what you can’t eat.

There are more recipes available at Love Food Hate Waste.