Food Waste Recycling

Food waste should be placed in your outdoor food caddy for collection every week.

What foods can you recycle?

  • All uneaten food and plate scrapings
  • Mouldy or out of date food including ready meals- please remove the packaging
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Limp and mouldy salads, vegetables, fruit and herbs
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Bread, pastries and cake
  • Dairy products including cheese, eggs and egg shells
  • Rice, pasta and beans (raw and cooked)
  • Meat, fish and bones (raw and cooked) including chicken carcasses, fish skin and out of date meat (unpackaged)

Please do not place any of these in your food waste recycling:

  • Packaging of any kind
  • Liquids such as milk
  • Oil or liquid fat
  • Anything that is not food waste. If your caddy contains incorrect items your caddy will not be collected. You will need to remove the incorrect items and present your caddy for collection on the next scheduled collection day.

How do you recycle food?

  1. Your caddy can be lined using compostable liners with the seedling logo
  2. Place all your food waste into the kitchen caddy or container of your choice
  3. Empty into your brown outdoor food caddy regularly - every 2-3 days even if not full
  4. Place your brown outdoor food caddy out for collection on your recycling day

Food recycling is an easy habit to get into and you might be surprised. Try our top tips to recycle food conveniently and easily.

Why should you recycle food waste?

Food waste placed in the purple bin is sent to landfill where it doesn’t degrade harmlessly, instead it breaks down producing methane - a harmful greenhouse gas, 25 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide.

If you recycle your food waste, it is sent for composting at Cumberlow Green on the A507 near Rushden, where it is turned into compost and sold to local farmers to spread on the fields and grow new crops. Residents can also purchase this compost from local Household Waste Recycling Centres to use in your gardens.

Top tips for a happy food caddy

  • Place a folded kitchen paper towel in the bottom of your green kitchen caddy to absorb moisture
  • Empty your kitchen caddy regularly (every 2-3 days) even if not full
  • Line your kitchen caddy using compostable liners with the seedling logo
  • Let hot food cool before placing in your caddy
  • Keep the lid of your caddy closed and cover all food (including pet food)
  • Rinse out your kitchen caddy with an anti-bacterial spray after emptying to avoid smells, condensation or mould build-up

Replacement kitchen caddy

We do not provide replacement 5 litre green kitchen caddies to residents. They were initially provided on a one off basis to all properties. We no longer have funding to do this.

You can use any suitable container to collect the food waste in your kitchen or you can buy a caddy from many high street shops.

How much food waste do we have?

Nationally we throw away 7.3 million tonnes of food waste each year with only 0.5 million tonnes being recycled currently.

Research shows that the average person will throw away around £200 a year worth of food and the average family up to £700 per year. This is approximately a third of all the food we buy.

In North Hertfordshire, a 2015 composition analysis of the purple bin showed that each household is currently throwing away 3.12kg of recyclable material in the purple landfill bin each week and the largest proportion of this is food waste - 21% of the average purple bin.

Of the food thrown away in the purple bin, 44% is still in its packaging. If you can’t reduce this please remove the food from its packaging and recycle it in the brown outdoor food caddy.

Every tea bag counts, so even if you are home composting, feeding leftovers to pets or are confident you are not wasting much it is still worth putting what’s left in your outdoor food caddy, even if it is only a few tea bags.