Introducing new food waste service in flats

Research in 2021 revealed that around 35% of the waste taken from the rubbish bins in flats was food. Recycling food waste is not only better for the environment, but for public savings too. A whopping £4.6 million could be saved for other essential services in Surrey, if all the county’s food waste was recycled.

So cutting costs to save money, as well as help the environment, was the driving force behind SEP introducing a new food waste collection service to 3,694 flats across Surrey in 2022. Giving more residents the chance to recycle their food waste.

After informing the residents, housing associations and private landlords about their new service we set about installing the food bins into the communal bin stores. We put up posters with ‘Thank you for recycling your food waste’ on the wall above food bins, helping users identify which bin to use, but also positively reinforcing the action that the resident was taking to recycle their food waste.

We then delivered a food waste caddy to the doorstep of each flat, along with information on what they can put in their caddy and a roll of caddy liners to get them started.

Once the food waste service had been introduced we undertook monitoring of the new properties to help us understand if the introduction of the service had been successful.

It was! As a result of the new collections, an estimated 240 tonnes of food waste will be recycled per year across four Surrey boroughs. That’s a saving of over £24,000 in disposal costs as well as being kinder to the planet.