Food waste collections

Coronavirus - impact on food waste collections

Like many organisations, the council is facing an unprecedented challenge in continuing to deliver services while responding to the coronavirus. It is inevitable that sickness, isolation measures and increased childcare responsibilities will reduce the number of staff available at different times. As a result, we have had to prioritise our core waste services and temporarily suspend food waste collections.

Where possible, please home compost your peelings and left over food. If this is not possible, please place food waste in with your general rubbish for collection. We are all responding to this challenge together and we would ask you to think carefully about buying only what you need and making creative choices with cooking and storage. This will help keep food waste to a minimum. Love Food Hate Waste has some tips on proper food storage and recipes that we hope will be useful.

Food waste

Food waste accounts for about half the weight of household rubbish in Tower Hamlets. When food waste is deposited in landfill it rots and emits large amounts of methane, a major contributor to climate change. To help you reduce the environmental impact of food waste in landfill, we have provide a food waste collection service for 30,000 households in the borough.

The service covers all street level properties and most blocks of flats managed by Poplar Harca and Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH).

What we can collect

Any raw or cooked food waste, including bread, fruit, veg, meat and bones, fish and plate scrapings.

Food waste

What we can't collect

Unfortunately we cannot take:

  • Oil, fats or liquids
  • Any type of plastic carrier bag
  • Tea Bags (only tea leaves)
  • Any packaging – even that marked 'compostable' or biodegradable' – as this takes too long to break down
  • Nappies
  • Other rubbish.

Never put food waste into carrier bags or black sacks. These do not break down and can ruin the compost.

Read more about your service:

Starch liners

Streetline will no longer take requests from residents requesting recycling sacks or food waste liners. If your household was included in the service special corn starch caddy liners, they will no longer be delivered to you.

Recycling bags and starch liners will be made available every Wednesday and Saturday from any Idea Store, Cubitt Town Library and Bethnal Green Library. Residents will be able to collect a roll of recycling/starch liner bags by showing proof of their address such as a utility bill, council tax bill, bank statement or driving licence. 

If you run out of starch liners and you use the food waste recycling service, food can also be placed your caddy wrapped in newspaper.

If you are disabled, contact us online to request a delivery.

Have we missed you?

Kerbside and doorstep recycling must be left out before 7am on the day of collection.

When communal bins contain high volumes of black sacks and non-recyclable materials your managing agent or housing association should be informed, as these items should be removed before collection by the Council.

Reports of missed collection can be made after 3pm on the collection day.

Report a missed collection