Food waste collection
Food waste is collected from houses in Surrey every week on the same day as your waste or recycling, by your district or borough council.
Visit your local district or borough council's website to find out what day your food waste is collected, to report a missed collection or if you need to order a replacement caddy. Select your district or borough from the drop down list in the green box to be directed there.
How does it work?
Keep a caddy in your kitchen where you can easily collect and store your food waste (these are supplied by your district or borough council).
When it's full, just transfer the food waste to your outside food waste bin. Make sure you lock the lid to keep out pests and keep in any unpleasant odours.
What can be collected?
All your food waste can go in your kitchen caddy, not just fruit and vegetable peelings, but egg shells, bones, tea bags, coffee grounds and anything past its use-by-date.
Please be careful not to include any packaging (except plastic bags) such ready meal trays, or liquids including milk and cooking oil.
For more information take a look at the full list of what can and can't be collected.
When is it collected?
Your food waste is collected every week on the same day as your general waste or recycling collection. There may be different arrangements if you live in a flat, check your local district or borough council website for more information.
How can I line my caddy?
You can now line your food waste caddy with plastic bags or liners, which makes it easier and cleaner to recycle your food.
You can use anything from old shopping bags to bread or salad bags – or you can continue to use newspaper or leftover compostable liners. Please don’t include black bin bags or other food packaging.
Even if you do line it, it is still advisable to wash your kitchen and outside caddies periodically to keep them clean and help avoid any unwanted smells.
What happens to the food waste?
After it is collected from your outside food waste bin, your food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility. Here the liners are removed and taken to an energy from waste plant to be turned into electricity. Through AD, micro-organisms break down the food waste producing biogas which is collected and used to generate electricity, heat and transport fuel. It also creates biofertiliser that can be used in farming and land regeneration.
Find out more about anaerobic digestion.
Will using my food waste caddy attract unwanted pests?
There are some simple steps you can take to avoid unwanted pests:
- Empty your kitchen caddy into your outside food waste bin regularly and make sure the lid is locked using the handle - it keeps smells in and means vermin cannot get to your food.
- Stop flies getting to your food waste where they could lay eggs - simply keep food covered and keep your kitchen caddy lid shut at all times.
Composting food waste at home
Composting is great – it's the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with your food and garden waste.
However, meat, fish, bones, cooked food and dairy products, which shouldn't be put in traditional compost bins or heaps, can all be collected from the food waste caddy. If you were to add them to your compost bin or heap instead, which isn't completely enclosed, they could attract vermin. Alternatively, you can buy food waste digesters which can take all food waste. Find out more about composting at home.
I think the bin crews mix the food waste with other rubbish and recycling
Bin crews sometimes empty the caddies into a wheelie bin which is just for food waste. It is then all emptied into a special compartment in the bin lorry - which is separate from the other waste or recycling.