19 February 2021 by Robyn White

Food waste collections to resume in Glasgow

Food waste collections from flats and tenements in Glasgow have been restored, nearly a year since the service was suspended in March 2020, Glasgow city council has announced.

Grey food waste bins will be collected from backcourts of flatted properties

Grey food waste bins across the city will now be collected from backcourts by the council’s in-house collection crews.

The service was suspended in March last year in response to the covid-19 lockdown, however a “reliable” food waste service has already been phased in successful areas across the north of the city. This will now be rolled out across Glasgow.

The council said that the return of food waste recycling in all parts of Glasgow is a “necessary step forward” in its efforts to tackle climate change.

‘Outsized carbon footprint’

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, welcomed the city-wide restoration of a food recycling service and urged householders to “play their part” in helping Glasgow achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Cllr Richardson said: “Food waste is highly carbon intensive and we must improve our rate of food recycling if the city is to tackle climate change. Although food forms a relatively small part of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste we throw away every year, food leaves behind an outsized carbon footprint on our city.

“Food waste is highly carbon intensive and we must improve our rate of food recycling if the city is to tackle climate change”

Cllr Anna Richardson

“A huge amount of energy is used to grow food, transport it and then dispose of it with the majority going into the general waste stream that is most expensive to process. That’s before we even consider the unnecessary packaging that often surrounds our food.”


The food waste collection service is a “fundamental” part of the councils new Resources and Recycling Strategy, which aims to reduce the amount of waste residents produce.

Food waste in Glasgow is sent to Scottish Water at its plant in Lanarkshire for processing through anaerobic digestion.

Collections take place every two weeks for houses, and from flatted properties every 16 days.


Glasgow city council has previously had contamination issues in its food waste bins.

In August 2020, the council says it successfully trialled the removal of grey food waste bins from flatted properties in the northwest area of Glasgow due to contamination issues from 30% of properties.

The bins were then permanently removed in December 2020, and as part of the agreement, the council has implemented publicly sited food waste bins for residents at addresses where access or contamination has been an issue (see letsrecycle.com story).


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