Recycling food waste

A person scraping food off a chopping board into a food bin.

The best thing we can do is not waste food at all. When we waste food, we also waste the energy and resources that went into producing, transporting, storing and cooking it. But some food waste, like banana peels, egg shells and apple cores can’t be avoided, and having some food scrapings and leftovers is inevitable.

Rather than throwing unavoidable food waste into the bin, it’s much better to recycle it. Food waste sent to landfill isn’t exposed to enough oxygen to allow it to naturally biodegrade so it rots and decays, releasing the destructive greenhouse gas methane into the air, which is much more harmful to the planet than carbon dioxide.

Because of this, food waste is one of the main factors behind rising greenhouse gas levels and a significant contributor to climate change. But when your food waste is recycled, instead of being sent to landfill, the gases are captured and converted into green energy that powers our homes, as well as natural fertilisers that can be used for farming. For example, your weekly food waste could power nearly two cycles of your washing machine.

So even if you don’t think you create a lot of food waste, remember that every bit of food waste that’s recycled stops the destructive greenhouse gas methane from entering the atmosphere. It all adds up and will help Scotland meet its net zero emissions target.


of households in Scotland now have access to a food waste collection service.

Find your local council recycling facility

In Scotland, 1.95 million households have access to a food waste collection service. To find out what food waste recycling services are available near where you live, simply click on your local authority from the list below. Remember, food waste collections vary from area to area so it is best to check what is on offer for your specific household. And if you don’t have a food waste caddy, contact your local council and they’ll help you.

Even if food waste recycling facilities aren’t available in your local area, you can still recycle your food waste. Find out how to easily compost your food waste at home here.


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