Making sure people put the right things in the right bins - SME food waste recycling guidance

Food waste recycling for your business

Recycling your food waste is easier than you think!

Making sure people put the right things in the right bins

Staff involvement

If staff understand the reasons behind recycling food waste they are more likely to be diligent in separating food waste into the right bin. Include the food waste recycling system in the induction for all new workers - walk around the kitchen and show the system in action rather than just talking about it.

Staff briefing/induction resources

Keep it simple

Allow staff to adapt the system to suit their needs - they may require a container on their worktop for a certain task but then go on to use a central bin.


A poster in a central location will remind staff of the food recycling system in place. Use picture-based washable labels on food waste containers to ensure all users know what materials to put in (and what not to put in). Make sure that they can be easily seen on the lid and front of the bin.

If you want customers to separate waste in the dining area, provide posters, information and the right equipment such as scrapers and sufficient sized containers to help them get it right. Posters can also be used to advertise the environmental benefits of recycling.

Labels and posters resources


It's a good idea to check periodically that staff are clear about how to use the food waste recycling bins. It might be helpful to provide reminders at staff meetings.

You may also want to review how much food waste you are producing from time to time. As well as helping to identify whether you could reduce, or need to increase, the number of bins you have collected by your contractor, monitoring how full your food waste bins are could help you identify ways to reduce food waste. You may find that the quantity of food waste reduces after the introduction of the recycling scheme as staff become more aware of how much is being wasted and take action, e.g. look at portion size, menu offering.