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Food waste

Collections update


Buckinghamshire Council's separate food waste collections for the Chiltern and Wycombe areas will restart from Monday 13 December. From this date, residents should put out their food waste in its separate brown bin on their usual collection day. 

A shortage of HGV drivers, coupled with Covid-related sickness amongst crews, meant the service was temporarily suspended in August, with food waste instead being collected as general rubbish. 

The council's waste contractor has worked hard to recruit new drivers, with incentives designed to retain existing staff and attract new staff to vacancies that have now been filled. This means that once more, food waste will be collected separately by dedicated food waste vehicles. Material will again be treated at an anaerobic digestion plant, where it generates electricity.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

When is the service restarting?

The separate food waste recycling service returns from Monday 13 December 2021. Collections will occur weekly on your usual collection day.
What has changed to bring the service back?

Our waste contractors have worked hard to recruit drivers, including increasing their recruitment incentive and hourly pay rate. We are now in a position to be able to return to separate collections for the Chiltern and Wycombe areas.

I don't have a food waste bin; how do I get one?

You can purchase a food waste bin online at Request a bin or by calling Customer Services on 01494 586550.

Can I have more than one food bin as I have a large family?

Yes, you can purchase an additional food waste bin online at Request a bin or by calling Customer Services on 01494 586550.

How will residents know this service is back up and running who don't have the internet?

The crew will be placing hangers on all general waste or recycling containers week commencing 6 December to advise residents we are restarting separate food collections.  This way, everyone will get the message to put out their food bins again week commencing 13 December, on their usual collection day.  We would encourage residents to let their neighbours and friends know the service is restarting, who may not have seen our communications online or the hanger attached to the bin.

Residents who present sacks rather than bins will receive a letter to explain that the service is restarting. 

I didn't get the message as my bins weren't hangered to let me know collections were starting.  Will the crew return for my food bin if I log a missed bin?

Unfortunately, the crew will not be able to return that week, but please place the bin out the following week for collection as normal and it will be emptied.

Why is it important to separate food waste now the service is coming back?

The food that is collected for recycling across Buckinghamshire is turned into energy to power our homes and also a high quality fertiliser for use on agricultural land. The more we can recycle, the better for the environment. Reducing the amount of food going into general waste significantly reduces costs to the council to dispose of general waste and the cost savings can be used instead to enhance services.

Do you have to use compostable bags for food recycling?

No. You can line your caddy with compostable bags or any of the following: 

•    clear plastic bags
•    freezer bags
•    carrier bags
•    pedal bin liners
•    salad, bread and cereal wrapping
•    newspaper
We cannot accept black bin liners, rubble sacks, and hard plastic packaging.
For further information on composting at home and recycling, please go to :
Recycle for Buckinghamshire

For further details about this change, please go to the Bin updates page.

Collection details

We collect your food waste weekly. 

Recycling your food waste is easy. We now accept food waste in plastic bags.

Please place food waste in your outdoor food recycling bin (brown bin) and present at your property boundary by 7am on your collection day.

We accept

  • any food: raw, cooked, burnt, mouldy or out of date
  • peelings
  • plate scrapings
  • tea bags & coffee grounds
  • pet food
  • bones, shells and skins

We do not accept

  • non-food items
  • packaging
  • garden waste
  • pet bedding/litter

Food waste caddy liners

You can use:

  • compostable bags
  • freezer bags
  • carrier bags
  • pedal bin liners
  • salad, bread and cereal wrapping
  • newspaper
  • or, leave it loose.

Please note: the following are unacceptable: black bin liners, rubble sacks, and hard plastic packaging.

Request a new food bin

Request a new bin

We are currently unable to collect food waste recycling from communal properties. Please contact us if you would like to be considered for food waste recycling collections in the future.

Top tips

  • Line your caddy and empty it regularly to keep it clean
  • Rinse your caddy in washing up water, or place it in the dishwasher
  • Line the bottom of your caddy with kitchen roll or newspaper to keep it dry
  • Keep your outdoor food bin locked; push the black handle forward to lock it
  • Present your food bin every week on collection day

What happens to your food waste and caddy liners

Machinery separates the bags and liners from the food waste. Those bags and liners are then sent to the energy from waste plant to be turned into electricity. The remaining food waste is processed, creating energy and a rich fertiliser, to be used in agriculture. 

Reasons for change

Residents have told us that having to use compostable liners puts them off recycling their food waste. We have been working closely with the operators of the food recycling plant, and they are now able to accept other kinds of liners. 

Contact information