Interventions to increase capture of food waste from households

Since 2020-21, SEP has delivered a project to increase the proportion of food waste put into food caddies for recycling. The more food waste that is recycled, rather than put into rubbish bins, the better it is for the environment and the less it costs Surrey councils.

The project has involved working in district or borough areas in Surrey (D&Bs) that, according to research, capture less than the county average of food waste. In each area, properties or waste collection rounds that are less likely to engage with the food waste collection service than others are identified. Each property identified has a sticker applied to its rubbish bin and a postcard posted through its door encouraging the householders to use the service.

In 2022-23, the most recent year of the project that has been evaluated, the change in food waste tonnages collected in the participating D&Bs was 6.99 percentage points higher than seen at those D&Bs that did not participate.

It is estimated that there was an increase of 16.42% of properties participating in the service after the communications were delivered. This led to an estimated yearly saving in waste disposal costs for Surrey councils of £57,305.91.