Food waste

Food waste caddyYour food waste caddy is for the collection of raw and cooked food. We collect your food waste weekly.

Find out your food waste collection day

Don't put food waste in your grey or brown bin

Waste from your brown bin is composted in Todhills, Danderhall. The site is licensed to accept garden waste only, not food waste.

Don't take food waste to a Recycling Centre

We don't have facilities to deal with food waste at our Recycling Centres.

Use your food caddy for:

  • Fruit and vegetables, including peelings
  • Meat and fish, including bones and carcasses
  • All dairy products, such as egg shells and cheese rind
  • Bread, cakes and pastries
  • Rice, pasta and beans
  • Tea bags and coffee grinds
  • Shellfish
  • Fruit stones and nut shells
  • Uneaten food from your plates and dishes

How to use your food waste collection service

  1. Put a liner in your kitchen caddy - you can also use bin liners, other plastic bags or newspaper to contain your food waste.
  2. Remove all food from its packaging. Most containers can be rinsed and put into your blue bin.
  3. Put any cooked or uncooked food into your kitchen caddy.
  4. Once full, tie the liner and place in your outdoor caddy.
  5. Put your outside food caddy out for collection by 6:30am on your food waste collection day.

Internal caddy liners

Midlothian Council does not provide liners. If you wish to buy dedicated food waste caddy liners, the kitchen caddy is 5L in size but we would suggest you buy 7L liners to allow you to easily tie the top of the liner.

Rural areas

We aim to introduce kerbside collections of food waste to those areas who don't currently receive this service from Spring 2024. This is thanks to Scottish Government funding of £132,085 announced in November 2021.

The money has used to buy an additional vehicle, and to provide food waste caddies. We can then serve all areas initially excluded because of their location, and the costs and environmental challenge of collecting food waste in such areas.

We will contact residents with more information as soon as we are ready to introduce the service.

Compostable packaging

Compostable packaging does not produce methane gas and heat like food waste does. Put it in your grey bin.

Home composting

If you have the space, you can compost your food waste. Keep using your compost bin for vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags and your usual garden waste.

We collect materials that cannot go into a compost bin, like fish, meat and cooked food.

Won't the food in my bin smell or attract flies and vermin?

As we collect your food waste weekly, it should not have time to rot down and smell.

You can reduce smells by keeping the lid of your kitchen caddy closed, tying up the liners and regularly emptying it into the outside bin. This has a sealable and lockable lid which will stop smells getting out and vermin getting in.

I don't waste food. Must I use the service?

Studies show that even people who don't waste any food still throw away around 88kg of food waste per year! This includes bones, peelings, teabags and food that has gone off.

Recycling food waste is far better than sending it to landfill. Even small amounts are worth recycling.

What happens to the food waste?

Your food waste is treated in an Anaerobic Digester (AD) at Millerhill, and turned into compost.

AD is a biological process where waste is broken down in the absence of oxygen. The waste is sealed inside a container and the oxygen removed. As the heat builds up, bacteria begin to digest the waste, turning it into a compost-like material. This can be used as agricultural fertiliser and for landscaping. The process also produces biogas, which is used to generate heat or electricity.

Collecting food waste separately from other biodegradable waste delivers better quality and greater yields, better environmental outcomes and is less expensive. The Scottish Government states that food waste should be collected separately from other waste and...

"should be treated in Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities as this provides scope to capture the methane produced during processing to produce renewable energy".

We could spend another £90k on services if everyone recycled properly

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