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Food Waste Recycling

Food waste

We all want to make our gardens and parks better for the environment and give them a greater look. By doing this together it is possible.

Food waste recycling, or composting food waste, has advanced since ‘The Pig Swill’ man came to collect waste. Since the swine fever of the 1970s, we and the local authorities have been at odds on how to achieve a satisfactory end result.

To create the fastest way to compost we should all have a composting area in our gardens, or nearby, whether wormeries, compost heaps or bins. We now have individual bins for flats and digesters for individual estates, so we no longer have to rely on a local authority to maintain such a scheme.

Geoff Juden of the East London Garden Society has written on this subject before, and is an advocate of such measures being taken in hand by community groups, thus ensuring the majority of people are made aware of the benefit that can be made by us all.

Some local authorities will take food waste products to a company which will digest on mass, or for landfill. Landfill itself causes many problems, and it is against the theory of food waste recycling. This results in nobody seeing the good that can be made at individual sites/estates, so are oblivious to a carbon emission saving of 48 tonnes per year at one established estate or the readily usable biomass for gardens, and parks etc.

How much money is saved from such schemes is not an exact science and they are yet to be achieved but the lowering of leaseholder charges and Council Tax is possible. In 2025 a law is to be enacted whereby all local authorities will be required to have a suitable scheme for food waste recycling, but most are not even at the talking stage. 

There must be a buy in from the residents for any scheme to be maximised, since having one imposed will be costly. So, now is the time to talk.

Inner-City Food Waste Compost Scheme Set for Expansion - 2004

An innovative inner-city food waste recycling project is set to expand to 5,000 houses in Hackney, East London, using a 300,000 grant.
Read More

Food Waste Pilot Project - 2024

The East London Garden Society worked in partnership with the Queen Mary University to produce a report on people's attitudes to food waste.

The report presents a summary of findings from the first stage of the Food Waste Pilot Project. They gathered evidence on food waste and composting practices of residents and tenants through interviews. Read the Full Report

If you would like to give your views on food waste and food recycling, then please use the Comment form.

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Your Comments

I don't compost my own food waste as I waste very little other than peelings, cores etc, and home composting is only effective for relatively large amounts.

LBTH & Hackney have stopped supplying food waste bags. This can only lead to more food waste going to landfill. I am conscious of food waste when shopping. I save my food waste for a local collection system.

David H.

I wonder if it would be possible to take all recyclables purchased from supermarkets, back to the supermarkets for recycling, including food waste.

People love and need convenience, many don’t have time to cook properly so this arrangement could possibly help. Recyclables could be returned to supermarkets by the delivery drivers that deliver food purchased online.

I realise this would take much organisation and financial investment but in the long run, it could save money and even create an income, eventually paying for itself. I live in a tower block and we have no means of recycling food waste. I am conscious of food waste when shopping.