How to recycle your food waste
Using the food waste service
Weekly food waste collections have now been introduced to all households across the district. It is easy to use – just follow these three simple steps:
- Collect all your raw and cooked food waste - for your convenience, we can provide you with a small kitchen caddy that you can keep on your worktop
- Once full, or at the end of the day, empty your food waste/the contents of your kitchen caddy into a kerbside caddy
- Put your kerbside caddy (not your kitchen caddy) out for collection, along with your other recycling boxes and bags, every week
To help look after the welfare of our crew members, please wrap all food waste that goes into your caddy. You can line your caddy with newspaper, a sheet of kitchen roll or a bag (plastic, paper or compostable) - this helps contain the food waste and is more hygienic for you and our recycling crews. All liners are mechanically separated from the food waste and are then recycled if possible or converted into energy via an energy from waste plant. If you line your caddy with a bag why not use an old cereal or bread bag to give it a second use, you don't need to buy separate compostable liners for your caddy.
Please note we cannot accept anything other than food in your food caddy. Food waste in North Devon is processed by an Anaerobic Digestor and not composted so please don't put other compostable items in your caddy.
Please do not put wool from wool insulated packaging or any other packaging which says 'biodegradable' in your kerbside caddy, despite what it says on the packaging. Instead remove the wool liner from its plastic packaging (which should go in the black bin) and place it into into either a compost bin (if available) or dig into the soil in the garden, as the wool will release valuable nitrates back into the soil as it breaks down.
If you want to buy compostable caddy liners, the kitchen caddy is 7 litres and the kerbside caddy is 23 litres.
We do not accept food waste in your green or black wheelie bins
Keeping flies and their maggots away
During hot weather, you may find that flies are attracted to your kitchen and kerbside caddies. Female flies will lay eggs on any organic matter that will provide a source of food for them when they emerge as larvae or maggots. There are some simple steps you can take to keep flies and foul smells at bay.
Understanding the life cycle of the fly
The life cycle of the common housefly has four stages: egg, larva (maggot), pupa and adult fly. Adult female flies will lay their egg on any organic material that will provide suitable food for the maggots when they emerge. Each female fly can lay up to 500 eggs in batches of 75 to 100 in three to four days and in the summer, during warm weather, these eggs can hatch into maggots within eight to 20 hours. The fly can complete the whole cycle in as little as seven days and as many as 12 generations may occur in one summer.
How to avoid attracting flies
Don’t leave uncovered food, food waste and dirty food containers lying around the kitchen or barbeque, as it will attract flies and wasps which may then lay eggs on the food waste before it is placed in the caddy.
Keep your kitchen and kerbside caddy lids closed, and lock the kerbside caddy. Line them with compostable caddy bags, paper, newspaper, kitchen paper or paper bags to keep the contents together.
Tie the compostable liners at the top and squeeze the air out of the them, or out of the newspaper in your kitchen caddies before they are placed in the kerbside caddy. The lack of air should slow down general decomposition, reduce smells and slow the development of maggots.
If possible try to keep your kerbside caddy in a shady area out of direct sunlight as the sun will warm up the contents, increasing any smells from food waste and attracting flies.
Some essential oils, such as citronella and tea tree oil are natural insect repellents. Try smearing your caddy lid with one of these oils to deter flies.
Rinse your caddies out regularly to keep them clean.
If you do get maggots
Maggots and fly eggs can be killed by pouring boiling water over them, sprinkling them with salt, or spraying them with furniture polish or fly killer. It helps to wash your caddy out after it has been emptied. Please be careful when using hot water and make sure that any water is emptied out of the caddy before you put your food waste in it.
After the caddy has been emptied clean and disinfect it thoroughly. You may like to spray your caddy with fly killer.
Although unpleasant, maggots found in a caddy will not cause any health problems.
Other ways to get rid of your food waste
You can also put some of your food waste into a home composter. To find out what, as well as how to order a compost bin, please go to our compost webpage.
Further information on how to compost can also be found on Devon County Council's website.