UK households produce around 7 million tonnes of food waste each year, of which 4.2 million tonnes is categorised as avoidable and 2.8 million tonnes as unavoidable.

This food waste is either collected by local authorities, home composted, fed to animals or discharged into the sewer. The majority of the waste (4.7 million tonnes in 2012)1 is collected by local authorities predominantly through refuse collection services, but also through food recycling schemes. 

This section outlines the rationale for recycling food waste and summarises recent trends in the provision of household food waste collections across the UK. It introduces the key piece of legislation governing how food waste is collected, namely the Animal By-Products Regulations.

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  • Food waste collections guide: Context and background

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