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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Food waste

Food waste harms the environment – it wastes the energy, fuel and water that went into producing it and, if not recycled or treated correctly, can produce methane, a damaging greenhouse gas.

Recycling your food waste helps fight climate change and makes savings for essential public services.

Despite most residents separating out their food in their brown bin, food waste still takes up one fifth of Dorset's rubbish bins, by weight. This is bad for the environment and the taxpayer, as waste mixed with food is sent away for expensive treatment.

The collected food waste is taken to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant in Piddlehinton, here in Dorset. As it is breaking down, it gives off biogas which is used to generate heat and electricity. It also produces a fertiliser which can be used as a soil improver for local farmers and businesses.

So, although recycling food waste is good, reducing the amount of food wasted, is even better.

Waste less food, save money and look after the environment!

How to use the Food Waste service

7-litre kitchen caddy (keep indoors) and 23-litre food waste bin (keep outdoors)

Table of items that can and can't be placed in a food waste bin
 Yes please No thanks

All cooked and uncooked food, including:

  • meat, fish and bones
  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • cheese and dairy produce
  • cakes, bread and pastries
  • leftovers, including plate scrapings
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • pasta, rice and eggshells

Compostable and newspaper caddy liners

  • carrier bags/plastic bags
  • food packaging
  • garden waste
  • pet waste
  • liquids
  • oil or liquid fats*

*Excluding areas where cooking oil collection trials are taking place. Please refer to your leaflet.

I home-compost. Should I be using my food waste bin instead?

Home-composting is the best way to deal with your food waste - even better than using your food waste bin. If you dispose of your food waste using a home-compost bin or an old-fashioned compost heap, please continue and accept our thanks for your efforts!

I'd use a food waste bin and/or caddy if I had one!

All Dorset households should have received a food waste bin and kitchen caddy when we rolled out the Recycle For Dorset kerbside collection service.

Replacement bins can be obtained from our various glass box, food waste bin and kitchen caddy collection points. If you need a replacement bin of any kind, please let us know.

Kitchen caddy liners are available at all supermarkets and most local shops. Dorset Council does not provide these. 

You can also line your caddy with newspaper to wrap your food waste.

Why have I received a sticker and tag on my bin?

To help promote our food recycling service, Dorset Council has been attaching stickers and tags to rubbish bins across Dorset.

The stickers and tags are placed regardless of the contents of the rubbish bin and will not affect your regular collection. The sticker is a reminder to use the correct bin when disposing of food waste. We are not inspecting the contents of the bins themselves. The tag shows facts about food waste and the reasons why we should recycle it. While they are not recyclable, both the sticker and tag are designed to stay on the bin.

I already use my food waste service, so why give me a tag and sticker?

We are placing the stickers and tags on all the bins regardless of whether they are accompanied by a food waste bin out for collection or not. This is the fairest and most efficient way to ensure we deliver the message consistently across all households. Please don't feel you have been singled out or mistakenly "targeted" in any way - we thank you for using the food waste service, so keep up the good work!

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