Will I need special bins?
Your local council will provide the bins you need to put your food waste in for collection, but the type of bin you use to separate food waste in your kitchen is up to you.
Existing equipment or containers (such as trays, empty food containers, buckets or bowls etc.) are commonly used to separate food waste in preparation areas. These smaller containers can be emptied into a larger food waste bin located in a handy key position and should be easily cleaned. If you prefer, a small worktop caddy can be purchased (from your local council or from a bin supplier).
Container types commonly used for larger amounts of food waste include:
Worktop-height 'slim' style bins designed to take up minimal floor space
Sensor operated bins that have lids that open when you approach the top of the bin with scraps and close when you go away again
Foot operated pedal bins that keep the lid in place when not in use
Traditional old-style plastic rubbish bins that can accommodate a large amount of waste
Caddies with a carrying handle, which will usually require a liner.
If you decide to use a floor-standing bin, make sure you select one at the proper height so that people do not have to bend over to use them.
Where should I locate my food waste bins?
Try to locate the main bin as close to the kitchen as possible. If this is not possible, try to identify an area where food waste may be temporarily stored before moving it to the main bin.
The frequency of collection will have an impact on how much storage space is required.
Put food waste bins as near to where the waste is produced as possible. The best areas include preparation benches, plate return area, areas used for making tea and coffee, bars, and cooking stations.
It may be easier to use small containers, e.g. empty plastic food tubs on a worktop for preparation waste and to empty these into one centrally located kitchen food waste bin when full.
How many bins will I need?
Depending on how your local council collects food waste (in wheeled bins, bags, or caddies) they should be able to advise how many you will need collecting.
For the containers you use in your kitchen, you need to think about the space you have available, the type and quantity of food waste produced in each area and how often the bins will be emptied. It may be better to have a few smaller bins that are easy to handle than to have one or two large bins that become too heavy to move.
Do my food waste containers need a lid?
All outdoor bins need to have lids to comply with Animal by–products regulations.
As food waste bins are often in constant use in food preparation areas, it's impractical to have a lid in place at all times. Lids can be an area for cross-contamination so, if you wish to provide a lid for your food waste bin at all times, consider using a sensor operated bin to eliminate hand contact.
When moving the food waste from the kitchen or restaurant area to the main bin it is a good idea to cover the waste or make sure it is properly wrapped to prevent spills/drips and accidental cross-contamination.
Should I use liners?
Check with your local council whether your food waste needs to be presented in liners and, if so, whether the liners need to be compostable or clear plastic.
Liners keep bins cleaner. However, ideally all bins should still be cleaned daily to remove any splashes, sticky patches and to disinfect any parts hands might touch.