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What happens to Elmbridge food waste? 

Did you know that your food waste bin is collected twice as much as your recycling and rubbish bin? If you don’t use your food waste bin, it’s time to start. Over 30% of the waste found in rubbish bins is food that could easily be recycled. To us, it seems like good sense to make the most of Elmbridge food waste bins. However, we know it isn’t that simple when it comes to changing behaviour. So let’s break it down and discover more reasons to use your food waste bin – other than saving space!



What’s the process for collecting food waste? 

Each week you will see your food being collected. It might be at the same time as the other bins due for collection or it could be a little later on. It all depends on what trucks are on your route that week. When your food waste is collected, it will go into a separate compartment on the truck. Sometimes this is visible at the side, or it is to the rear – again it depends on which truck collects. The important thing to know is that your food waste is being collected for recycling each week.  

The outdoor food waste caddies might be full of food waste and their liners but it’s important to recognise that the liners cannot be recycled in the same way. This is why it’s important to not contaminate with black bin bags. Instead, make sure your liners are suitable so they can easily be removed from the process. You can buy food waste bin liners from most reputable supermarkets – if you’re unsure, please get in touch. 

When Elmbridge food waste is collected, it is taken to an anaerobic digestion facility. The liners are separated and sent to an energy from waste facility to create electricity. Through anaerobic digestion, micro-organisms break down the remaining food waste and transform it into biogas and sludge. The gas is used to make electricity, heat and transport fuel. The sludge is used as a biofertiliser for land regeneration and farming.  

How can you make the most of your food waste? 

After that quick lesson on what happens to your food waste, we bet you’re wondering what on Earth your role in all of this is! Well, it’s really simple. Use your food waste bin. But if you’re looking for a bit more inspiration, here are some of the most wasted foods so keep an eye out for them when they’re in your home and try not to let them go to waste: 

  1. Salad leaves 
  2. Bread 
  3. Milk 
  4. Bananas 
  5. Cucumber 
  6. Strawberries 
  7. Potatoes 
  8. Eggs 
  9. Tomatoes 
  10. Carrots 
  11. Cheese 
  12. Yoghurt 
  13. Mushrooms 
  14. Cream 
  15. Apples 
  16. Fresh meat 
  17. Oranges 
  18. Onions 
  19. Fresh fish 
  20. Blueberries 

If you buy any of these foods in your food shop, keep an eye on them, they may quickly become waste. Most of these you can freeze such as bread, bananas, strawberries and even eggs (click here to find out how to safely freeze eggs). Buy what you need, use what you have and you’ll naturally reduce your food waste. 

What to do if you don’t have food waste bins 

There are some residents in Elmbridge that won’t have food waste bin collections. You’re typically one of these if you have communal bins. Meaning the bin lorry doesn’t pull up outside your door and empty the bins that belong to your home. If you don’t have food waste collections, what can you do? 

Well, for starters you can look at composting instead. You can sell the fertiliser in your community or donate it to neighbours with gardens. We created a guide on how to do this last month – you can find it here. If you don’t fancy composting and you don’t have a food waste collection, ask your local community if someone can make use of it. Avid gardeners will be screaming out for food waste to use in their allotment. It can’t hurt to ask the question and it’s a better solution than chucking it in your rubbish bin.



Although food waste has been recyclable for many years, it’s still not common practice. Start small. When you peel your carrots and potatoes, use your food waste bin. Just those two items. Each week you’ll become more comfortable with using the bin, you can add more food items to your ‘must recycle’ list. Over time you’ll find yourself a pro at using the food waste bin. Baby steps, we know you’ll get there over time!

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