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Garden and food waste
Feed your brown bin
Feed your brown bin all your food and garden waste. It will eat
any food waste but we recommend it’s wrapped in a compostable
liner or newspaper.
Your brown bin also loves to eat greasy pizza boxes and shredded
It is important not to put plastic bags into your brown
bin; these are not compostable and will not rot in the
composting process. Only use compostable liners that show the
seedling logo, or says home compostable.
Visit our dedicated page for more compostable kitchen caddy
Garden and food waste is collected from homes in Medway every
fortnight on the same day as black sack rubbish is collected.
Find out more about recycling in Medway
Select from the bookmarks below:
wheelie bin - (Garden and food waste) - How do I recycle my food
waste? - Why recycle food? - Top tips - Can I use compostable liners
sold in supermarkets? - Can I use plastic carrier
bags? - Why is garden
and food waste bad for landfill? - How do I avoid maggots and
flies? - What happens
to the garden and food waste? - Food waste
trial - See if you could save
money - Requesting a brown bin -
Brown bin additional
information - Brown reusable sack users
- Home composting - Contact Customer
Brown wheelie bin - (Garden and food waste)
Garden waste video
Food waste video
What can go in my brown wheelie bin?
How do I recycle my food waste?
Wrap your food waste in biodegradable liners, newspaper or
paper. This will help to prevent odours or spillage. Please
do not use plastic bags. Compostable liners are
available at most local supermarkets. Place your wrapped food waste
into the brown wheelie bin and put it out for collection.
To make it easier for you to separate out your food waste,
kitchen caddies are available from local shops or by visiting
Get Composting. You
can always reuse an old margarine or ice cream tub to transfer your
scraps to your brown wheelie bin.
Why recycle food?
- Rotting food in landfill generates methane, a greenhouse gas
that is around 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- 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 animals rip open these black sacks, it’s the
content of the whole sack that could be spilt across the
- Recycling food waste costs about 50 per cent less than if it is
put in a black sack.
- The introduction of food waste collections is in response to
feedback from residents who want to recycle their food waste. (You
don’t have to take part, however it’s great for the environment.
You can choose to continue using the black sack service, which will
remain a weekly service).
- 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
- Shredded paper that cannot be secured in the blue
reusable bags can be placed inside your brown bin.
- Food-soiled cardboard like pizza boxes can also be placed
inside your brown bin.
Please note: All other paper and cardboard must
be presented within your blue reusable bags as part of the dry
Can I use compostable liners sold in supermarkets?
Yes, as long as it has the BS EN13432 number on
it, is labelled as "home compostable", or has the
seedling logo like the one to the right.
Can I use plastic carrier bags?
No, these will not rot in the composting
process. Please use compostable liners (right) or wrap in
Why is garden and food waste bad for landfill?
Garden and food waste is organic and as a landfill has
no air in it, because it has all been squashed out, the bacteria
and micro-organisms that break down all this material produce
carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane.
How do I avoid maggots and flies?
Maggots come from flies that lay eggs. If you wrap your food
waste securely in compostable liners or newspaper, place it inside
your brown wheelie bin and close the lid, flies cannot lay the eggs
that produce maggots. Regularly rinsing out your bin will also help
What happens to the garden and food waste?
Your garden and food waste is taken to specialist processors
Countrystyle Recycling, near Sittingbourne, where it is recycled
into compost. All of it stays in the UK and the majority is used in
Kent for agriculture as a peat free nutrient-rich fertiliser to
enhance crop growth. It is also used under fruit trees to reduce
weeds and retain moisture, again adding nutrient to the soil. It
works by using naturally occurring micro-organisms, totally free
from artificial heat and additives. For more information
please visit the
Countrystyle Recycling website.
Food waste trials
We currently have two different food waste trials within the
borough. For more information please visit our dedicated food waste trial
See if you could save money
It costs the council about 50 per cent less if food waste is
composted, rather than thrown away in black sacks. Collecting food
waste for composting can also raise your awareness of how much food
you waste and help you reduce your household food bills.
Households in the UK throw away 8.3million tonnes of food every
year. Wasting food costs the average family with children £680 a
To find out more about saving money and food, visit
Food Hate Waste campaign page.
Requesting a brown bin
There are already more than 70,000 brown bins across Medway, and
requests for a brown bin will be assessed using the following
- availability of bins;
- if the property/street is suitable; and
- the resident must be able to place the bin out for
You are not automatically entitled to a brown bin because you
pay council tax, as a garden waste collection service is provided
by using either a brown wheelie bin or brown sack.
To order a brown bin please contact Customer First.
More about brown bins
You can also use other coloured sacks (maximum of two
additional) for garden waste, as long as they are
not blue or black.
- Please do not use these sacks for food waste.
- Please leave sacks untied so it is easy for the collectors to
check what is in the sack when they are picked up.
- To ensure easy identification, mark your house number or name
neatly on your brown bin.
- If you have a brown bin, you cannot request brown sacks, as
they are provided as an alternative to a brown bin.
- If you have a brown wheelie bin, the council will collect a
maximum of two additional unfastened sacks of garden waste. Any
more should be taken to a Household
Waste and Recycling Centre.
- If the bin is too heavy, a notification will be left and it
will not be emptied as it can break when it is lifted to be
emptied. Compacted garden waste in the bin can easily get stuck and
may not be emptied.
Brown reusable sack users
Due to licensing restrictions, we are only able to collect food
waste from sealed containers, for example, wheelie bins or
dedicated food waste bins. This means that we cannot collect
food waste from brown reusable sacks.
What can go in my brown sacks?
At least 30 per cent of your household bin could be
composted at home. For more information visit our home composting page.
Contact Customer First
Please contact Customer First on the information below to:
- Request a brown bin
- Request brown sacks
- Report a missed collection
- If you require additional information regarding the food and
garden waste service
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