020 7641 6180
Westminster City Council

How food waste collection in London is organised

We’ve been looking at some of the ways in which recycling in London is organised. One relatively recent addition in Westminster is food waste recycling.

At a local level, food waste recycling services are important for any businesses that generates food waste. Here in London, this aligns with a growing citywide commitment to reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration or landfill.

At a global level, managing food waste is seen as a key part of achieving climate change targets. This is supported by the European Landfill Directive, whose key aim is to reduce biodegradable waste that goes to landfill sites where it generates harmful methane gas when it decomposes.

So what happens to food waste collected from businesses in Westminster by the City Council’s Commercial Waste service?

food waste recycling in london

Where does the food waste go?

Food waste is sent off for anaerobic digestion, which is a biological treatment process where food decomposes in the absence of oxygen. Having been de-packaged, macerated and pasteurized, the food waste is digested over a period of 2-3 months.

The waste then turns into methane, which can be used to:

  • Generate electricity for the London electricity grid
  • Replace natural gas in the gas grid
  • And provide thermal energy, which is required to dry out the biomass

The remainder (called digestate) becomes an excellent bio-fertiliser. This is sent off to farmland where its valuable nutrients provide long-term benefits to soil, and reduce the need for artificial fertilizers.

Food Recycling in Westminster

If you have a requirement for food waste collection in Westminster, our specially tailored Commercial Waste service provides all the equipment (bins and bags) needed to manage collections in a hygienic manner; and is is fully compliant with animal by-product regulations.

You can download our food waste service leaflet here, or contact us directly by

Phone: 020 7641 6180

Email: commercialwaste@westminster.gov.uk

Post: PO Box 71083, London SE1P 4LS

Or web: cleanstreets.westminster.gov.uk

Look out for our upcoming infographic on how all waste collected in Westminster is processed without the need for landfill.