Food waste recycling

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How to recycle your food waste

I live in a house or a flat in a house conversion

  • place your small food caddy in your kitchen
  • you can use food waste caddies without a liner, purchase your own, or use brown paper bags or newspaper to line your caddy – do not use plastic bags
  • when the caddy full, put your food waste in your large food waste caddy outside
  • your food waste will be collected weekly from 6am on your collection day
  • place your food caddy for collection at the inside edge of your property, not on the pavement

I live in a block or estate with communal recycling bins

  • place the small food bin in your kitchen, and line it with a compostable liner
  • collect all your food waste in the caddy
  • when the caddy is full, tie the ends of the compostable liner together
  • take it down to the food waste container next to your recycling bins

Communal food waste bins are installed next to your communal recycling bins. They lock in smells and keep animals out, and are emptied once a week and cleaned regularly.

Do not use plastic bags. Plastic bags are not accepted at the food waste recycling facility.

Garden waste can be home composted using a composter. Composters can be purchased through Get Composting with composters starting from £25.

Items you can recycle

You can recycle all raw and cooked food waste:

  • vegetables and peelings
  • fish and fish bones
  • fruit cores and skins
  • bones
  • bread, rice, pasta
  • meat (raw or cooked)
  • teabags, coffee granules
  • egg shells
  • plate scrapings
  • cheese

Items you can’t recycle in your food waste caddy

Any non-food items, including:

  • garden waste
  • packaging
  • litter
  • plastic bags

What happens to your food waste

Food waste from households in Hackney is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in south east England, where it’s turned into renewable energy to power homes and biofertiliser to be spread on local farmland to grow crops.

Dispose your compostable packaging

Compostable plastic is a material made from renewable materials such as vegetable starch and soy protein. Compostable plastic should be put into your general waste and not your food waste, garden waste or recycling. This is because in north London food waste is processed in anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and mixed food and garden waste goes to in-vessel composting (IVC) facilities.

All packaging (compostable liners/Vegware/plastic bags/packing peanuts) is removed from food and garden waste by ‘de-packaging’ machinery and disposed of. This has to be done because non-compostable items are often put into the food/garden waste when they shouldn’t be, causing contamination. The de-packaging machinery we use is not currently able to distinguish between compostable and non-compostable packaging when removing contaminants.

Page updated on: 2 April 2024

Hackney Recycling


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 5pm (telephone)
  • Wednesday – 9am to 4pm (telephone)