Your food waste could be transformed into electricity to power homes, or be turned into compost for farmers to fertilise crops!

food waste into energy and compost
Food waste that is thrown away doesn't break down harmlessly like you might think. If food waste ends up in landfill, it rots and releases methane, a greenhouse gas which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide - this is bad news for the environment.

When we recycle our food waste, we can avoid needlessly pumping tonnes of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and create something useful instead. Food waste is never actually waste as it can be sent to special processing plants to be transformed into electricity, or turned into compost for farmers to use as fertiliser. To find out more about how these processes work, watch our animations on Anaerobic digestion and In-vessel composting.

The following facts might surprise you

  • For every SIX tea bags we recycle, enough energy can be produced to make another cup of tea

  • ONE caddy load of food waste generates enough electricity to boil a kettle three times

The best thing to do with our food is enjoy it, but some waste is inevitable. Think:

  • Tea bags and coffee grounds

  • Egg shells
  • Fish and meat bones
  • Mouldy and gone off food
  • Fruit and veg peelings

To help you, here are some top tips for recycling food waste.

This April we'll be holding some food waste recycling information stalls, supported by Sainsbury's. Come along for the opportunity to blend a fresh fruit smoothie on our smoothie bike and to enter our competition to win a Joseph Joseph Totem bin. Our events will be taking place in Merton, Ealing, Brent, Camden and Hounslow. Check out our events page for more information.

Sainsbury's logo

Find out more about food recycling in our five campaign boroughs:

The following boroughs also offer a weekly food waste collection or mixed garden and food collection. Click on the links to find out more:

Barnet Hilllingdon 


Bexley Islington 


Bromley Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames 


City of London Lambeth 


Croydon Merton 


Enfield Richmond-upon-Thames 


Royal Borough of Greenwich Southwark 


Hackney Tower Hamlets 


Haringey Waltham Forest 






Joseph Joseph Totem Bin competition rules

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) is running a series of five competitions during week commencing 17 April 2017.

The competition prizes are five Joseph Joseph 'Totem 60' recycling and rubbish bins in 'stone' finish. There are no cash alternatives.

All competition entries must be made in person at the Recycle for London food waste recycling events. The competition is open for entries between 10am and 4pm at the following locations.

  • Tuesday 18th April 2017 - Merton Sainsbury's Superstore, 1 Merton High Street, SW19 1DD

  • Wednesday 19th April 2017 - West Ealing Sainsbury's Superstore, Melbourne Avenue, W13 9BZ

  • Thursday 20th April 2017 - Alperton Sainsbury's Superstore, 360 Ealing Road, Wembley, HA0 1PF

  • Friday 21st April 2017 - Camden Sainsbury's Superstore, 17-21 Camden Road, NW1 9LJ

  • Saturday 22nd April 2017 - Chiswick Sainsbury's Superstore, 31 Essex Place, W4 5UT

One prize per day.

No purchase necessary. Only one entry per household.

All competition entries that provide the correct answer to the competition question will be included in the prize draw - the competition winner will then be drawn at random.

The competition winner will be drawn on the same day that the competition closes - the winner will be notified by email and must claim their prize by providing their postal address within 30 days. The competition winner's name will be made available by the competition promoter only on request.

By entering the competition you give permission to Recycle for London to use your email address to inform you if you win the competition prize and to send one (and only one) email providing you with the correct answer to the competition question along with further information on food waste recycling. Your email address will not be used by Recycle for London after the day of the event and will not be sold or shared with any third parties.

The competition prize can only be sent to a valid UK address.

This competition is promoted by The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL