Waste Less Recycle More

Graphic showing the split between what is commonly in a general waste bin

Did you know?

In the UK, 10 million tonnes of food are wasted every year, with around 70% of that coming from our homes.

UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of it every year, 4.5 million of which is edible, and the average family of four could save just over £60 per month by reducing their food waste. 

If we all just buy what we need, and eat what we buy we could make a real difference to the food that we waste every year.

If you do have leftovers why not try home composting or recycle any other food waste using your weekly kerbside collection service.

Benefits of recycling food waste

An average household generates 5kg of food waste each week. This is the same weight as just over 4 full unopened bottles of wine.

Food waste makes up a quarter of Gloucestershire householders waste bin. Most of which includes food that could have been eaten. Food waste also causes just as much damage to our planet as plastic waste. When we throw food away, we’re not only wasting the food, but all the energy that’s gone into making it

Recycling your food waste helps create energy to power our homes and a fertiliser to grow crops.

To recycle food waste, please see our step by step service guide, showing what can and can’t go into your food waste bin.

Food waste reduction tips

Plan your shop and meals

  • Be organised, make a shopping list OR take a ‘snap shelfie’ to remind you of what’s in your cupboards and fridge at home
  • Only buy what you need and eat what you buy

Make food last longer

  • Make sure your fridge is set between 0 and 5 degrees - this will help milk and other food last up to three days longer.
  • Place newly bought items at the back of the shelf to ensure you use the oldest food first.

Plan your portions using this handy calculator - portion-planner.

Make the most of your leftoversBowl of food made from leftovers

  • Take a look these at recipes to find something to create with your leftovers

Food waste recycling tips

  • If you don’t use liners in your kitchen caddy, put a sheet of kitchen roll or newspaper in the bottom to help keep it dry
  • Make sure you remove all packaging from your food waste, especially plastic
  • Remember to scrape all your uneaten food straight into your caddy so it can be recycled
  • Remember to recycle your mouldy and out of date food, including ready meals removed from their packaging
  • By recycling your food waste weekly your household refuse bin will be cleaner and less smelly
  • Check out video tips on the Recycle Now website

Food recycling FAQs



Why should I recycle food waste?

A quarter of Gloucestershire householders’ waste bins are made up of food waste. We want householders to reduce food waste by eating what you buy and making sure any remaining food waste is recycled, using the weekly food waste collections. Collecting it separately means we can take your food waste to a local processing plant where it is used to generate gas to power homes and produce a fertiliser which can be used by farmers to grow food.

What happens to my food waste once it is collected?

Find out by watching the video in the link.

I don’t produce any food waste

Remember there is no amount to small. The best things we can do with our food is enjoy it but some waste, like banana skins, tea bags and plate scrapings are unavoidable and these can all be recycled.

Where do I get my food waste containers from?

You should have a green kitchen caddy and a green outside food waste bin. If you don’t have these, contact us on 01242 262626 or use our online order form

When do I put my food waste bin out for collection?

Food waste should be put in your green outdoor food waste bin and presented for collection every week by 7 am in the same place where you leave bins and recycling containers for collection. Please make sure the outdoor food waste bin can be easily seen so it is not missed.  To find out more about your collections visit

Will the food in my caddy smell?


Not if you empty your food caddy regularly into the outside food recycling bin and use either plastic bags or paper to line your caddy. You outdoor food bin has a sealable and lockable lid which will stop smells and vermin getting in.

Can I have an extra food waste caddy?

We recommend using one caddy to begin with. Think about how much food waste you’re producing and how you might be able to reduce it. For tips on reducing food waste please visit. If you have a large family and need an extra outdoor food waste bin, contact us on 01242 262626

What can I do to reduce my food waste?

For tips and advice to help you waste less food and save money visit.

What can and can’t I put in my food waste bin?

Follow the link to www.cheltenham.gov.uk/recycle council website to get a list of food waste items that can and cannot be recycled.

What is anaerobic digestion?

Anaerobic digestion uses micro-organisms to break down food waste, animal manure, slurries and energy crops in the absence of oxygen, inside an enclosed system. As it breaks down it gives off methane, which is collected and converted into biogas and used to generate electricity, heat or make transport fuels. It also creates a fertiliser that can help grow crops.

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