Food waste

The Government has committed to roll out separate household food waste collection across the country in its Environment Bill.

We are currently working with other West Sussex councils to develop a strategy for dealing with food waste.

Weekly food waste collection trial for 100 households

In late autumn 2021 we undertook a three month food waste collection trial with 100 households across the District including family households, single-occupancy homes and flats. The trial has now closed.

Top line results have shown:

  • Trial participants recycled some 2,657kg of food waste in just 12 weeks
  • On average each trial household collected 3.05kg of food waste per week
  • On average general waste was cut from 6kg per household to 4kg per household per week
  • Participants cut the overall amount they put into their green-top bins by one third
  • The capacity of our 140 litre green-top waste bins proved sufficient to cope with a three weekly collection
  • Participants found the food waste collection process really easy

The trial service used a ‘1-2-3’ collection system, as follows:

  • Weekly food waste collections and an optional, free subscription service of Absorbent Hygiene Product collections, if required e.g. nappies and incontinence waste
  • Existing fortnightly recycling (blue-top bin) collections and garden waste (charged, subscription service)
  • Three weekly general waste (green-top bin) collections, based on trial participants having substantially less waste to dispose of as a result of their food waste being collected separately and other collection services recently introduced by the Council such as textiles, small electricals and household batteries.

The food waste ‘1-2-3’ trial was developed as a result of resident feedback telling us that they would like separate food waste collections amidst concerns about the impact of food waste on the climate.

Additionally, the Government is also looking to make separate food waste collections mandatory in the future.

Collected food waste was taken to an Anaerobic Digester which breaks it down into bio fertiliser for use on land, and a biogas, which can be used for generating energy.

Find out more about food waste and other recycling tips and keep up to date with our progress by signing up to our Waste and Recycling email newsletter and reading our regular blog posts.

How much of our rubbish is food waste?

41.5% of the rubbish in an average Horsham District bin is made up of food waste. Much of this food waste can be easily avoided.

Tips to reduce your food waste

The good news is that there a few simple things your family can do to reduce food waste.

  • Shop smart by planning meals, making a shopping list and buying seasonal produce
  • Batch cook and freeze the rest.
  • Before throwing food out, consider whether it can be frozen to be used another day
  • Think about how any leftovers can be used to form the basis of another meal, such as soups, sauces or sandwiches
  • Compost any peelings and eggshells.

NHS Eat Well: How to store food and leftovers

Change4Life family meal planners