Help fight climate change one peel at a time

This month, 28,000 households in Southend-on-Sea will be encouraged to take part in their weekly food waste recycling service and help support the council’s ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

A recent study of Southend residents’ waste revealed that, on average, a staggering 28% of the content of black sacks was made of food waste. This could have been easily recycled if disposed of in the dedicated food waste bin. 

To help residents better understand the importance of recycling their food waste and how to do it, 28,000 households in the areas of the City with the lowest food waste recycling rates will soon be receiving leaflets to help.

Did you know that recycling just one banana skin generates enough energy to charge your smartphone twice?

By empowering residents with the knowledge and tools they need to recycle as much as possible, Veolia and Southend City Council are aiming to deliver ecological transformation and reduce waste across the City. Those residents who would like to learn even more about how reducing food waste could help them save as much as £40 per month are encouraged to visit:

In Southend, residents can recycle any cooked or uncooked food, vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, bones, egg shells and plate scrapings in the food waste caddy. No amount of food waste is too small! The food is then sent to one of Biogen’s Anaerobic Digestion plants where it is turned into organic fertilisers that farmers use to grow more crops. The gases produced in this process are captured and used to drive a turbine which generates electricity.

Ready to step up your recycling game? 

Residents missing a kitchen or kerbside caddy can request a new one via the MySouthend portal ( The new container will be delivered for free to their doorstep by a dedicated crew. Free rolls of food waste liners can be picked up from the Civic Centre, any libraries in the City, or requested on the MySouthend portal. 

More information on the service can be found at:

Stuart Atkinson, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia UK said: 

“Our crews already collect an average of 73 tonnes of food waste every week, which is as heavy as 6 double-decker buses. However, as shown by a recent waste composition analysis, almost a third of the content of black sacks is made up of food waste and is currently being sent to energy recovery instead of being recycled. I’d encourage all Southend residents to give food waste recycling a go as this is one of the easiest actions residents can take to lower their carbon footprint and help Southend become a greener and cleaner place to live.”

Cllr Meg Davidson, cabinet member for environment, Southend City Council said:

“Recycling your food waste is easy to do and makes a big difference.  Simply put your food waste into the food waste caddy provided and put it out for collection along with your black rubbish and pink recycling sacks. This is much better for the environment and helps to keep our rubbish disposal costs down.”

“Currently a startling 28% of black sacks contain recyclable food waste. Just think of the impact if every household made this small change. Recycling one banana skin can charge your smartphone twice – that's the power of collective action. Together, we can create a greener, more sustainable future for Southend and beyond."