Food waste collection - FAQs

Putting a banana skin into food caddy

Q: I don't have any food waste

A: Some people have more food waste than others. At some point, everyone will put some food waste into their general waste which goes to EFW (Energy for Waste). It could be a bit of stale bread, banana skins, bones from a Sunday roast or even something lurking at the back of the fridge that you had forgotten about. All of these if put in your food waste caddy can be recycled to create energy and to produce a liquid fertiliser for local farmland.

Q: I have put out my food waste on the correct day but my collection was missed, what do I do?

A: You can report missed collections online. Alternatively, please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail who will request that the crews return. Please report a missed collection within two working days and after 3.30pm on collection day. The crew will have 48hrs to collect the missed receptacle but will aim to return on the next working day where possible, so please leave your food caddy out at kerbside until collection.

Q: What are the benefits of collecting food waste?

A: Collecting food waste for recycling means:

  • It’s better for the environment - 1 tonne of food waste collected and re-used can create 1200kwh of energy
  • It’s used to make energy - Producing renewable energy for the national grid, thus contributing to energy security.
  • It’s used to make fertilizer - Producing liquid fertiliser for local farmers, which helps reduce their reliance on chemical fertilisers.

Q: How will the food waste be collected?

A: In your food caddy every week. Each property has two food waste caddies, a small and large one. You can use the small caddy in the kitchen, and then transfer your food waste to the large caddy for your weekly collection.

Q: How can I keep my caddies clean?

A: Line it or wash it - Caddies can be lined with any type of old plastic bag (including supermarket bags), newspaper or compostable caddy liners. Both caddies can be washed and are dishwasher safe up to 60°C.

Q: What if I don't have room for the food waste caddy?

A: Just use the outside caddy. The kitchen caddy is only 7 litres and is designed to be kept on a kitchen work surface or under the sink. However, if you don't want to use the small kitchen caddy, simply empty your food waste directly into the larger 23 litre food waste caddy which you can keep outside. You could also use your own smaller container to keep food waste in the kitchen before transferring to the outside caddy.

Q: What happens to the food waste?

A: Its turned into energy and fertilizer - The food is sent to an anaerobic digester where it is broken down naturally by bacteria in an oxygen-starved environment. This produces biogas, which is cleaned and fed into the national gas grid. The liquid residue called digestate is used to fertilise local farmland. Any cornstarch caddy liners or plastic bags are easily separated from the food waste by a shredding machine before the recycling process begins. Excess energy from the food recycling process is reused on-site. Water used in the process is also recycled and used on-site.

Q: Why can I now reuse any kind of plastic bags in my caddy?

A: The plastic is separated from the food - Plastics are separated from the food waste at the start of the recycling process by a series of large metal paddles which separate the food from any bags.

You can line your caddy with any type of plastic bag (including old bread wrappers, cereal packets, used sandwich bags etc) as well as cornstarch liners and newspaper.

Q: Can I still compost at home?

A: Yes - We would encourage you to continue composting at home and you can find out how on our very own home composting page. However, using the food waste caddy means you can recycle all meat, fish, bones, cooked food and dairy products; whereas it’s recommended that these types of food shouldn’t be composted at home as they could attract vermin.

Q: How will I know which caddy is mine after collection?

A: You can number your caddy - On the larger caddy you can write your house name or number. This will reduce the risk of missing bins or confusion after they have been emptied.

Q: Can I share a caddy with my neighbour?

A: Yes - if you would like to. Please make sure you arrange between yourselves who looks after it and puts it out for collection.

Q: Can I have an extra caddy?

A: Yes - if you would like to order another kitchen or kerbside caddy, please contact us.

Q: Can I put food waste in with my normal domestic waste?

A: Yes you can but - We strongly encourage all residents to participate fully in the recycling services provided in order to reduce the amount going to Gloucestershire's energy for waste site. Now that any type of plastic bag can be reused as a caddy liner we hope that residents find it easier than ever to recycle their food waste.

Q: Why don’t you just encourage people to waste less food?

A: We do and we are proud to support the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. Wasting food is a waste of money; the average household throws away £600 a year in food waste! It’s also an unnecessary waste of energy and natural resources which went into the production, packaging and transportation of that food. The Love Food Hate Waste website is full of hints and tips that can help us all to save money and food.

However, even with the best of intentions, most of us have some food waste that can’t be eaten or home composted, such as bones, dairy products or food that has gone off and we can now use this waste to generate energy.