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Food waste | Sandwell Council

Food waste

Food waste bin collections have been suspended as these cannot be carried out due to the current social distancing guidelines and collection method for this service.

Why bother with food recycling?

Sandwell needs you to recycle moreShop smarter and save money

The average household throws away £480 worth of food a year, rising to £680 a year for a family with children.

By using your food waste container, you'll see how much and what type of food you throw away. This will help you save money by only buying what you need in the future.

Why not?

Food waste has to go somewhere so make sure it goes to the best place for the environment and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

How often will your empty my outdoor food containers?

Your new brown outdoor food waste container will be emptied weekly.

Where do I need to put my brown outdoor food waste container on collection day?

Your brown outdoor food waste collection container should be out by 6.45am on your collection day at the edge of your property, along with your other bins. 

Please make sure that your brown outdoor food waste container can be easily seen and reached and from the public pavement. Ideally it can be placed on top of your blue lid recycling bin with the handle upwards.

What can I put in the food waste container?

You can include all food waste from the home, including leftovers from meals, food that has gone past its use by date, and any other food waste from your kitchen, including the following: 

  • meat - raw and cooked, bones
  • fish/shellfish - raw and cooked, including bones and shells
  • eggs and egg products (including egg shells)
  • dairy products (including cheese and yogurts)
  • bread, cakes and other baked goods
  • pasta and rice
  • beans and pulses
  • fruit - raw and cooked
  • salad and vegetables - raw and cooked
  • tea bags (including the bag) and coffee grounds
  • lard and other hard fats
  • tinned and dry pet food
  •  small amounts of gravy, sauces or custard left on food (larger amounts should be sluiced down the sink as with milk and fruit juice)
  • any meal leftovers

No packaging please.

What can't I put in the food waste collection?

Please do not put any of the following materials in your food waste collection -

  • packaging
  • cardboard
  • foil
  • plastic film or plastic bags
  • glass
  • other recycling
  • garden waste
  • straw or other animal bedding
  • liquids

How is food waste recycled?

The separated food waste will be taken to a local site in Staffordshire for processing. During its treatment at the site your food waste will be composted in an enclosed vessel during a Environment Agency regulated process. This means that food waste will reach a high enough temperature to kill off any harmful bacteria. The final compost can then be used in a variety of uses including farming, landscaping or for general gardening.

Why haven't you emptied my food waste container?

We will not be able to empty your outdoor food waste containers if it contains packaging or other non food waste that cannot be composted.   We will leave a note on your bin saying that it has material that cannot be composted. Please remove the non food waste and put in the appropriate collection container, such as your household waste wheeled bin.

Report missed bin collection

How do I keep my food waste collection containers clean?

You can keep your food waste containers clean by lining them with newspaper or kitchen roll.

You can also purchase compostable liners. Please do not use plastic bags for food waste - these can't be composted so will not be accepted.

Both containers can be washed out using hot soapy water to freshen them up.

Compostable Where can I get compostable liners for my food waste containers?

Compostable liners are available from the larger supermarkets.

Look out for the compostable logo on them that confirms they are suitable and can be processed in the food waste composting/recycling process

How do I stop pests/animals getting into my food waste container?

Ensure the lid to your brown food waste container is fully closed to help keep it clean, free from odours and safe from animals getting in.   

The outdoor brown food waste container can be locked easily to stop any unwanted pests getting into it. When the handle is turned backwards over the lid, it is in the locked position. 

Why do you collect my food waste in the same collection vehicle as my blue lid recycling?

Food waste is collected at the same time as the blue lid recycling but kept separate on a specially designed vehicle. This vehicle has a separate section (called a pod) that is located between the drivers cab and the recycling storage section. Food waste is kept separate throughout the collection process.

The food waste pod lift mechanism can only empty a wheeled bin type/sized container, not the small 23 litre sized food waste outdoor container. This means that your separated food waste is decanted into a 240 litre wheeled bin container, called a 'slave bin', along with food waste from other homes on your street. This wheeled bin is then emptied into the food waste pod keeping it completely separate from the blue lid recycling collection.  

We try to always use a different colour wheeled bin as the 'slave bin' for the food waste collection and use brown wheeled bins so that residents can more easily see that food waste is kept completely separate from food waste, however we do sometimes have to use other colours in cases of breakage.