Less waste, more recycling: New fleet of trucks for food waste collections

Tuesday 11 May 2021: Hillingdon Council has invested £485,000 on a new fleet of vehicles that are now collecting food waste separately from garden waste.

Food waste trucks
The brand-new trucks which have been out doing their rounds across the borough since Monday 10 May are part of the council's continuing efforts to improve the borough's recycling rates. Previously, food and garden waste were collected at the same time, by the same vehicle.

Approximately 44 per cent of general waste in Hillingdon is made up of food waste. This is harmful for the planet and contributes to climate change due to gases like methane and carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

Recycling food waste is easy and free for residents - all they need is a 5-litre kitchen caddy, compostable bags and an outdoor caddy. These are supplied for free when residents sign-up for this service on the council's website. Thanks to the outdoor caddy's click locking mechanism, it keeps rodents from tearing open bags, and residents can also sign up to receive automatic food waste bag deliveries from the council.

Once collected, Hillingdon's food waste is transported in bulk to Surrey for recycling via a process called anaerobic digestion. Here it's broken down to generate electricity which helps supply homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy. The process also produces high-quality fertiliser for agriculture. 

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said:

"We know how much our residents value this free service, and these new food waste trucks mean we can continue to improve our recycling rates and help the environment.

"The reality is that more than half of our food waste generated ends up in general waste which contributes to climate change. By making small changes to the way we all think about food waste and by using the council's easy-to-use food waste recycling service residents can help us to make a real difference. 

"I encourage those who haven't yet signed up for this service to request their free caddies today and play their part in helping to make our borough greener." 

Residents are asked not to mix food waste with garden waste. Garden waste will still be collected as normal, but by a separate truck. Residents are also asked to remember to leave their outdoor caddy at the edge of their property for collection before 6am on their usual collection day.

For those not already signed up to the free food waste service, sign up today at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/food-waste.  

The service isn't available to flats just yet, the council is working hard to introduce this in the future.

Page last updated: 25 Jul 2023