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The Village

Food waste caddies in accommodation

By jhobson 18 Aug 2023

Following campaigning by the student group Plan-It Change, facilities for residents to separate food waste from other waste streams were successfully piloted in John Foster Hall and Beaumont Hall in 2021/22 and 2022/23 respectively. As of 2023/24, this project has been extended to all accommodation in The Village.

Learn more below:

Be sure to follow@uol_sustainability and @uolreslife on Instagram to stay up to date with the latest tips and info on using your food waste caddies as sustainably as possible!

How does it work?

There will be one caddy per kitchen. It is very important to always use the liners provided to help keep the bins fresh and mould-free. These liners help to maintain clean caddies by creating a barrier between the caddy and food waste, allowing you to remove food waste easily and prevent pests. Don’t forget to request for more from the Accommodation Team in reception if you run out!

Make sure to empty your caddies frequently into the dedicated external food waste bins provided by Enva to reduce foodborne illnesses and maintain hygiene in your kitchens, especially during the warmer months.

We’ve created a kitchen rota to help you and your flatmates keep track of who is to empty your bins and when. You'll have one in your kitchen when you arrive and get more from reception if you need them!

What can I put in my caddy?

Check out our handy guide below to what you can put in your caddy!

What are we doing and why?

The project aims to address the fact that around 10% of the dry municipal waste collected from student accommodation is contaminated with food because there is no provision of facilities for food waste segregation.

The contamination of general waste and dry mixed recycling greatly reduces the opportunity to recover clean materials from the waste and leads to the unwanted decomposition of food waste in landfill and the diversion of valuable commodities away from recycling!

Anaerobic digestion vs composting

Facilitated by our waste provider, Enva, the segregated food waste from caddies has an opportunity to be recovered into energy via a process known as anaerobic digestion (AD). AD is where organic material (in this case, food) is broken down in order to produce energy. Enva processes food waste through AD rather than composting as a wider range of materials is accepted, including:

  • Fruit & veg
  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Oils

To ensure that your food waste can be processed through AD, do NOT put any plastic, packaging or crisp packets into your caddies! The transformed energy from food waste is therefore able to help power homes, schools and business rather than going to landfill.

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jhobson Communications and Engagement Assistant for the University of Leicester. Get in touch with our Communications Team by emailing
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