Supporting the food waste revolution in London

September 11, 2019

We produce over 7.3 million tonnes of food waste each year in the UK, which has increased by 5% since 2012.

Currently only a third of local authorities collect food waste; the average family wastes £470 a year by throwing away food and drink and a further £3 billion is wasted by food sectors.

As the largest capital in the country, London is accountable for a large percentage of this waste, producing between 1.5 million and 1.75 million tonnes of food waste a year.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan released his Environmental Strategy earlier this year with targets to reduce the capital’s food waste by 50% by 2030. The Mayor has also announced that food waste must be part of waste collections in London.

The strategy acknowledges that London’s landfill capacity is expected to run out by 2026 and the cost of dealing with the city’s waste is currently running at around £2 billion a year. As a result, developing ways to reduce food waste has been a primary focus for councils and businesses alike.

Food waste is any food material that is discarded or unable to be used; food peelings for example, are now required to be recycled separately alongside plastics, paper and glass.

If recycled as part of a waste collection service, food waste is recycled in two different ways. In-vessel composting involves mixing food waste with garden waste and composting it in an enclosed system for up to a month, where it is heated to kill bacteria and then matured for 1-3 months ready to be used as soil.

Another method is anaerobic digestion; this uses microorganisms to break down food waste to give off methane, which is collected and converted into biogas and used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuels.

Food waste that is not recycled ends up in landfill, which produces a harmful amount of greenhouse gases that contribute towards global warming and climate change.

We’ve worked with numerous boroughs in London to reduce their food waste. In 2017, we manufactured bespoke Food Waste Wheelie Bin Coversfor Islington Borough Council that were installed at communal properties to provide an improved food waste service in the area.

The installations were part of Islington’s on-going Better Recycle Sites capital program that aims to reduce contamination of materials and fly tipping in communal recycling sites.

Our Food Waste Wheelie Bin Covers are predominantly favoured by councils in London, to create a communal recycling point and to hide unsightly wheelie bins.

Manufactured from 2mm hot dipped galvanised steel,this stylish cover features a slanted lid, designed to allow rainwater to run off and prevent any rubbish from being left on top of the unit. A lift up flap on the lid helps to contain unwanted odours, with a stainless steel handle that makes opening easy and hygienic.

Disposing of your food waste couldn’t be easier with our specially designed recycling bin; simply lift the flap using the stainless steel anti-microbial handle and deposit the rubbish into the awaiting wheelie bin.

A gas strut is fitted to the lid to ensure a soft closing motion that gives the user enough time to put their food waste safely in the bin as the lid closes gradually.

We are currently working with other councils across the London borough to improve food waste collections by creating hygienic recycling points that reduce cross contamination.

At the start of the year, Hackney Council expanded to food waste collections and ordered 30 of our food waste housings to fit 140 litre wheelie bins, with bespoke blue vinyl artwork and a blue powder coated lid to make the unit visible amongst its other recycling bins.

We’re currently working with City of Westminster Council, who have requested 100 Food Waste Wheelie Bin Covers. These feature their own bespoke artwork, with guidelines on how to use the bins correctly. These bins are currently in manufacture and will be sited in Westminster in October.

London Borough of Richmond have ordered 15 of these food waste wheelie bin covers, after residents of more than five hundred flats across the borough took part in a food waste recycling trial that proved successful in 2018.

It’s not just London that’s looking for ways to fix their food waste problem, we’ve helped a number of councils in Scotland become a zero waste county. In 2016, we manufactured our Food Waste Wheelie Bin Covers for Dundee Council as part of a continuing city-wide rollout to collect food waste in communal areas.

Zero Waste Scotland have stated that they are supporting the Scottish Government’s target of reducing food waste by 33% by 2025.

We’re working with Edinburgh Council to roll-out new recycling bins, including our food waste covers. These are part of a replacement scheme across the city, with bespoke vinyl artwork on the front with guidelines on what sort of food material is acceptable and powder coated in black. Our black powder coating on the food waste bins also have anti-microbial properties to reduce the spread of infection on the unit.

To coincide with their recycling bin replacement scheme, Edinburgh Council have invested in our large capacity Mega Cycles to collect mixed glass, with internal rubber flaps to reduce the amount of noise when the user deposits any glass.

Our household food waste amounts to 19% of all the food we buy, most of which is thrown out due to not being used in time and uncertainties about date labelling. One way that we can reduce our food waste is by shopping on a needs basis and saving and storing any leftovers; most foods can be frozen for over a month.

Food banks are always willing to accept none-perishable foods if you know that it won’t be used. Check out Hubbub’s guide to getting more food savvy to reduce your food waste.

If you’re based in London and would like to book a meeting with our area manager, please get in touch. Send us an email to or give us call on 01226 352333

FWWB Food Waste Wheelie Bin Cover