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Food waste collections about to start as phased roll-out gets underway

Published: 21 October 2021

Food waste collections about to start as phased roll-out gets underway Food waste collections

The long-awaited roll-out of food waste collections in Exeter is about to begin.

The roll-out will begin with 1,300 households in Alphington having the weekly service added to their waste and recycling collections – starting on 4 November - before the initiative is introduced gradually across the whole of the city. Other areas will be added to the roll-out as and when vehicles, drivers and containers are available and this will be dependent on the supply chain which is currently an issue across the UK.

Although the City Council encourages people to only buy what they are likely to consume, adding a food waste collection service helps the planet and the battle against climate change, as well as increasing the city’s recycling rate. Currently food waste in Exeter goes in with the general ‘black bin’ collections and is sent to the city’s energy from waste plant at Marsh Barton.

A number of residents in Alphington – those on Thursday collections -  are set to receive letters this week (week commencing 18 October) explaining the roll-out. Weekly collections will take place alongside existing collections of household waste and recycling (black and green bins).

Once collected, the food waste is sent off to be turned into soil improver while generating gas and electricity.  

Containers and instructions will be issued to all households taking part in the first phase. Each household will receive a red 23-litre kerbside caddy as well as a 5-litre grey kitchen caddy.

A dedicated page has been set up on the City Council website to deal with questions about the service, including how to line the caddy or bag up the food waste.

Dates for the rest of the city are still being looked at and will be clearly communicated with residents when a timetable has been developed. People are being requested not to call the Council but to visit the website where a set of frequently asked questions is available.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management, said: “It’s great to be finally rolling this out across the city.

“We will be doing this in a phased manner and extending the roll-out as and when we have the vehicles, drivers and containers available. At the moment we are having difficulties with the supply chain – we currently have one vehicle ready for the start of the roll-out and another coming in mid-November. Others will then need to follow.

“So our message is ‘please be patient with us – it’s great to be finally up and running but this will take time as it is a big undertaking for the whole of the city – and we will be in touch about when your street is about to be added to the roll-out.

 “In the meantime, please don’t contact our staff unless you really need to – all the information will be put on our website,” he added.

To find out more information about food waste collections go to the City Council website at

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