Banner of pictures showing food waste and bins

Recycle your food

Tonbridge borough residents recycled 2,755 tons of food waste in Tonbridge and Malling last year, but food waste continues to take up around 27% of general refuse bins. Food waste reduction is key to reducing our impact on the environment.

Our general waste bins are full of food. We all know it's better to use it than throw it away. Groups like Love Food Hate Waste and WRAP offer great advice on planning your meals and using up leftovers. But even with the best intentions, you'll still have some food waste each week. The potatoes you peel, the tea and coffee you drink or the omelettes you make all create rubbish. How you get rid of it matters.

Did you know food thrown into black bins:

  • costs more to dispose of, costing council tax payers more money
  • is a waste of precious natural resources and energy used in growing and transporting the food

That’s not good for our environment or our pockets. So instead of putting food in with your general household waste, use your food caddy. It's easy:

  • use compostable liners or newspaper -or you can put the waste straight into the caddy without a liner
  • we collect food waste every week
  • even if you compost at home there are some things you can't add to your heap, like dairy, meat, bones or bread
  • you can recycle all food waste except liquids- find out what you can put in your food bin

What happens to food waste?

Now here is the clever bit. All food waste across Kent gets sent to an anaerobic digester, right here in our borough, so it doesn't have to travel far! It converts the food we don’t use into:

  • green energy sources - which creates enough energy to power the processing plant and up to 3,600 homes
  • organic fertiliser - used on Kent farms to grow our crops

Want to know more? See How your waste is recycled .

Sounds great - when do you collect?

We collect your food waste every week.

Make sure you put your orange lidded food bin out alongside your black or green recycling bin. The crew empty the food waste into a bigger wheeled bin before tipping into the collection lorry. Don't worry, it isn't being mixed with household waste! We now have a fleet of dedicated food waste crews and collection vehicles, so your food waste is collected completely separate from other waste streams. Check your waste collection dates.

Lost or broken bin?

If your outdoor food bin is broken, lost or a storm decided to take it away, you can ask for a new one by emailing us at