hackney food waste
Published date: 27 February 2023

Hackney Council trials food waste recycling service for flats above shops

Over four hundred households across Hackney, where residents live in flats above shops can now recycle their food scraps in a three-month trial, run by Hackney Council in partnership with North London Waste Authority (NLWA). 

For people living in flats above shops, there’s typically no outdoor space for bins. Instead, residents must put refuse and dry recycling in bags and leave them on the pavement at specific times for collection. Consequently, the collection of food waste at street level has not been practical.

Hackney’s trial aims to solve this problem by providing communal, on-street designated bins. In five locations across Hackney, the trial includes using a different brand of bin at the various sites to see which are the most user-friendly and encourage correct use. On-street food waste bins will be emptied at least once a week and regularly cleaned and monitored.

Hackney Council and NLWA officers have visited homes across the borough to let them know about the service and have given out kitchen caddies and liners. Resident surveys will be conducted during the trial to help assess residents’ motivations, use of the service, and any barriers. The success of the trial will be measured by the tonnage of food waste collected and against factors such as contamination (non-food items) found in bins.

Increasing the recycling of food is an important way to combat the climate emergency as it helps to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. Food waste can be made into eco-friendly fertilisers for farms and to generate electricity.  

Cllr Mete Coban, Hackney’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "We’re passionate about tackling the climate emergency, and reducing food waste is one way that households can reduce emissions and play their part in building a greener, healthier Hackney.

"This FLASH Food Waste trial is an exciting initiative and I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes as it progresses."