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Food waste

If you live in Troon, Prestwick, Ayr, Maybole and Girvan then you can recycle food waste using the caddies provided.

Food waste collection

Find out when your food waste caddy will get uplifted.

Find your bin day

Missing food waste caddy?

If you live in a food waste collection area you should have both an indoor kitchen caddy and an outdoor caddy. If either is missing call 0300 123 0900 or complete the online form to order a free replacement. .

The majority of South Ayrshire Council residents have access to the food waste collection service. If you live in a food waste collection area, now’s the time to ensure you have the necessary caddies to take part in the service.

All householders in food waste collection areas have been provided with a compact indoor kitchen caddy (7 litre) and a robust outdoor caddy (23 litre). If either of your caddies is missing or broken, please contact us to order a free replacement.

Food waste represents nearly a third of all household waste in Scotland and it’s easy to forget about all the different types of food waste that can go into your caddies. By using the food waste recycling service fully, you can help South Ayrshire Council avoid sending as much waste to landfill.

Even the thriftiest among us can’t avoid producing food waste such as tea bags and eggshells, but the good news is that you can help turn this into electricity and fertiliser by using the caddies provided each week.

To order a new caddie for free phone 0300 123 0900 or complete the online form.

Caddy liners are available from our customer service centres and libraries at £2 for a roll of 72 liners.

What goes in my food waste caddy?

DO put in your food waste caddy

  • Dairy and eggshells
  • Fish, meat and bones
  • Fruit and vegetables (and peelings)
  • Bread and cakes
  • Rice, pasta and pizza
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Pet food
  • Out of date food

DO NOT put in your food waste caddy

  • Food packaging
  • Liquids
  • Oils
  • Plastics bags


This new service is the next stage in our efforts to boost our recycling rates even further. We need to recycle at least half our waste by the end of 2013, and 60% by the end of 2020. And we can only do that with your help.

Food waste represents nearly a third of all household waste in Scotland, so introducing a dedicated recycling service for food will make a big difference. It’s estimated that every household throws away – on average – £430 of food waste each year, so that’s a lot of food to recycle.


Our new scheme is simple and easy to use. We provide two recycling caddies in our distinctive silver colour – a small kitchen caddy that you can keep on your kitchen worktop to collect all your food leftovers and scraps and a larger outdoor caddy that we’ll empty every week when you leave it out on the kerb.

All you have to do is pop a liner in the kitchen caddy, transfer your food waste into it and, when the liner is full, place it into your outdoor caddy. You’ll then need to put your outdoor caddy out on the pavement for collection on the same day each week.

All food waste – cooked and uncooked – can be put into the caddies, even bones – the only items you can’t recycle are liquids and oils. So whether it’s out of date food from your fridge or cupboards, leftovers from your food preparation or just what you haven’t eaten on your plate, it can all be recycled in your caddy and it’s so easy to do.

By taking part in this exciting new scheme, you can help South Ayrshire move even closer to becoming a zero waste area, so make sure you’re set to help us recycle for South Ayrshire by doing some good with your food waste.

View the brochure


1. Why are you introducing food waste recycling?

The Scottish Government has placed a duty on all Councils to introduce a separate food waste recycling service by the end of this year in an effort to further boost recycling levels. However, in addition to this, the new service will also ensure your food waste is uplifted every week rather than every two weeks when you use your green bin as you do just now, so it’s a win-win not just for the Council, but for you too.

Food waste represents nearly a third of all household waste in Scotland, so introducing a dedicated recycling service for food will make a big difference.

2. How does it work?

The new service operates with the provision of two new recycling containers – distinctive silver coloured 7 litre worktop kitchen ‘caddies’ (a first in South Ayrshire) and 23 litre kerbside ‘caddies’, which will be delivered to homes with an initial supply of compostable liners for the kitchen caddies.

Residents scrape their food waste into the kitchen caddy, which is then emptied into the larger outdoor caddy as required. You then put your kerbside caddy out for collection on the relevant day.

3. So what food can I put in my caddies?

You can put most cooked and uncooked foods into the caddies whether that’s out-of-date food from your fridge or cupboards, leftovers from preparing meals, or leftovers from meals. That includes dairy, meat and bones, fruit, vegetables, bread, rice and pasta, fish, tea bags, egg shells and coffee grounds.

4. And what can’t I put in?

You can’t put any food packaging in your caddies, so any unused foods should be removed from their packaging before recycling. And you can’t put liquid or oils into the caddies.

5. What happens once the food waste is taken away?

The waste materials will be digested at a specialist processing plant and will be used to generate renewable heat and power, feeding into the national grid. This means your leftover fish and chips could be used to heat your house!

6. Why can’t we just put the food waste into our blue bin or brown bins rather than giving us another bin?

It’s all to do with how the waste is treated after it’s collected. Your food waste, which should be recycled in the dedicated caddy, will be going to a special processing plant where it is used to create renewable energy, and no other waste goes through that process. And it would be an impossible task to separate out the food waste from all the other waste in the blue or brown bins.

7. What do I do when the liners provided run out?

You can purchase additional compostable/biodegradable liners from your local supermarket, line your caddy with newspaper or use your caddy without a liner.

8. Can I use waste bin liners?

Only compostable liners can be used, but you can also use the caddy without liners.

9. What if I have more food waste than fits into the outside caddy?

Contact us on 0300 123 0900 and we’ll arrange a visit from our waste awareness team.

10. Why are the rural areas not included?

The Scottish Government only requires the Council to introduce the food waste service in the main urban towns of Ayr, Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon at this time. However, this is only the first phase and we’ll be closely monitoring it with a view to how we take it forward in other areas.

11. Why are flatted properties not included?

This is the first phase of our food waste recycling service, so we’re only including main door properties in our five main towns at this time so we can monitor and review the scheme and make any changes before we roll it our further. We need to get it right so we can achieve the recycling levels we’re looking for.

12. Won’t a separate food caddy just create more mess and smell?

Actually – it’s the opposite. By using your new food waste caddies, your food waste will be picked up weekly rather than fortnightly as it is just now as part of your green bin collections, so it’s actually better all round. The kitchen caddy means it’s just as easy to scrape your plates into that as it is into your kitchen bin and the lockable outdoor caddy keeps your food waste secure until it is uplifted.

13. Will this affect my other bin collections?

No – all other collections will continue as normal.

14. How will I know when it will be uplifted?

You will receive an information leaflet with your caddies, which will include details of your weekly collection day. You can also check your collection day. You should start to use your new caddies as soon as you receive them and your first collection will take place the following week.

15. Will I get a new recycling calendar showing all my collections?

You can check all your collection days on our website or by calling 0300 123 0900. Calendars can be printed from the website if required.

16. Isn’t this just a waste of money?

The food waste recycling service is funded by Zero Waste Scotland, specifically for this purpose and we bid for the monies required so it’s not coming out of any existing budgets. And, if we don’t comply with the government’s requirements and fail to meet the recycling targets set, we could be fined – and that would be a waste of money. In addition, we pay a tax for each tonne of waste we send to landfill – that tax is currently set at £72 per tonne and that will only increase in future years. So, the more we recycle, the less we send to landfill and the less we have to pay out.

17. What do I do if my food waste caddy is not emptied?

Call us on 0300 123 0900 and we will arrange an alternative uplift if your food waste caddy has been missed.

18. I already have an assisted collection for my other bins – does the same apply for the food one?

Your silver outdoor caddy is much smaller than your bins (it holds 23 litres of waste compared to 240 litres for your blue, brown and green bins) and even when full should be no heavier than a bag of shopping, so we do not propose to offer an assisted collection scheme at this time. If this would make it difficult for you to take part in the scheme, please call us on 0300 123 0900.

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Last updated: 28 October 2015

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