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Food and garden recycling

Food and garden waste is collected every week on the same day as black sack rubbish for individual households only. Collection times may change so present all rubbish by 7am on your usual collection day. If you live in a flat or apartment block please contact your management agent about your organic waste.  

Garden waste will not be collected if placed in black sacks as general rubbish.

Each week you will be able to present a maximum of

1x brown wheelie bin and 2x open (non-black) sacks


4x open (non-black) sacks

Please note, a single sack should not exceed 80L and able to be lifted and emptied easily into the collection vehicle.  

If you have more than this, additional garden recycling can be taken to our three household waste and recycling centre.


To find out what happens to your organic waste after collection please visit Where your rubbish ends up or for further recycling advice in our A-Z recycling guide.

Find out about home composting and other tips on how to reduce your rubbish.

Sale of compostable liners

To help you continue to recycle your food waste, compostable kitchen caddy liners are available to buy from all 16 libraries at £1.50 for a roll of 26.

Read our frequently asked questions on the sale of compostable liners (pdf 203kb). 

Brown wheelie binBrown wheelie bin (food and garden recycling)

Food waste

  • All food recycling, including;
  • Meat and fish (with or without bones)
  • Plate scrapings
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings and cores
  • Egg shells
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds

Seedling logoFood waste can be wrapped in compostable liners, newspaper or placed in your brown wheelie bin loose. Only use compostable liners that show the seedling logo (right), or says home compostable. Compostable liners can be purchased from all Medway libraries, most local supermarkets or the following link compostable kitchen caddy liners.

Do not to put plastic bags into your brown bin; these are not compostable and will not rot in the composting process.

Garden recycling

  • Grass and hedge clippings
  • Garden prunings and weeds
  • Small branches (no more than 5cm across)
  • Dead plants

Brown wheelie bin - top tips

  • To avoid your brown wheelie bin going missing after collection, we advise placing your property number on your bin.
  • Shredded paper that cannot be secured in the blue reusable bags can be placed inside your brown wheelie bin.
  • Food-soiled cardboard like pizza boxes can also be placed inside your brown bin.
  • Do not place turf, soil and hardcore into your brown wheelie bin as these materials are not accepted.
  • Bins that are too heavy will not be collected as they can break whilst being emptied. If this happens a sticker will be placed on the bin and you will need to empty some of the waste for your next collection.

Brown garden sacks (garden recycling only)

Due to licensing restrictions, we are unable to collect food recycling from sacks. Only use open sacks for garden recycling items listed above.

Brown garden sacks will only be provided to those residents without a brown wheelie bin.

Smaller brown food binsFood waste bin

  • Trialled since 2011 to some properties not suitable for a brown wheelie bin.
  • These are to be expanded to other households not suitable for a brown wheelie bin in 2014.
  • If your property is suitable for a brown wheelie bin, you will not have the option of the smaller brown food bin. 

Importance of food and garden waste recycling

  • Wrapped food waste inside a brown wheelie bin with the lid closed is more secure than if it was placed into the black plastic rubbish sack. If rodents and pests do not rip open these black sacks, your street stays cleaner.
  • Recycling food waste costs about 50 per cent less than if it is put in a black sack.
  • The food waste is converted into compost by a natural process and the majority of the product is then spread on local farms as a fertiliser. Unfortunately the end product produced is not available for residential re-sale.
  • Rotting food in landfill generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is around 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Garden waste presented in black sacks will not be collected after 28 October 2013.

Find further recycling advice in our A-Z recycling guide

Check your collection day
Report missed collection
Report stolen bin or bag
Find a tip/recycling centre