New £295m for councils to introduce weekly food waste collections

Up to £295m in capital funding for local authorities to roll out weekly food waste collections

Councils in England will be supported with up to £295 million in funding to introduce weekly food waste collections by 31 March 2026, Recycling Minister Robbie Moore announced today (Monday 25 March).

New funding will cover new food waste containers for homes and specialist collection vehicles, targeted at local authorities that have yet to fully put food waste service in place.

Over ten million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, with much sent to landfill. Separate collections of food waste from every household will prevent contamination of other waste which could be usefully recycled, as well as ensuring that food waste can be sent to anaerobic digestion facilities rather than needlessly lost to landfill. Directing food waste to these plants will generate more sustainable energy to power homes and businesses, and cut down the more than 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions associated with this waste.

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore said:

"Weekly food waste collections are a central plank in delivering a simpler, easier recycling system for all. It will help to stop food waste heading to landfill and support our goals of tackling both waste and climate change.

"We’re backing councils with new funding to ensure the nation can benefit and recycle more."

Claire Shrewsbury, Director of Insights and Innovations WRAP, said:

"Weekly food waste collections will give recycling in England an important boost and help reduce the impact of food waste on climate change. Our research shows that when food waste collections are introduced, and people see how much food goes to waste in their home, they want to do something about it. And with food waste costing a household of four around £1,000 a year, weekly collections will not only help prevent food waste in the first place, but utilise the food waste collected to generate green energy and compost."

The funding is part of the government’s Simpler Recycling plans – meaning that people across England will be able to recycle the same materials, and ending the confusing patchwork of rules governing what can and can’t be recycled in different parts of the country.

A central pillar of these reforms will see weekly collections of food waste rolled out for most households across England by 2026, cutting food waste heading to landfill while also ensuring smelly waste no longer sits for weeks in people’s bins.

Defra developed the funding formula for local authorities in collaboration with WRAP, and engaged closely with local authority organisations to discuss the approach.

The financial model which underpins the formula accounts for a number of variables including rurality, levels of deprivation, number of kerbside and flatted properties, configuration of flatted properties, food waste yields, vehicle and container unit costs, and average collection round sizes. The model also takes into account the extent of existing food waste collection in each local authority.

We continue to work closely with local authorities and stand ready to help them further to deliver our reforms. A full list of funding by local authority is available here.

From: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Robbie Moore MP