Bag it!

Published: Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

Oxford residents are keen recyclers – not least when it comes to food waste. There are around 50,000 food recycling caddies and red food bins in regular use in the city.

But there is always room for improvement and the City Council has now made the process even more straightforward by making it possible to line food recycling caddies with any plastic bag – not just the compostable ones.

Cllr John Tanner, board member a Clean and Green Oxford said: “Recycling food waste is great for the environment and saves money. We estimate that around 30 per cent of the county’s food waste is still binned, and we want to reduce this amount significantly.

“By recycling your food waste, you can ensure that it is put to good use - producing bio gas that’s turned into electricity, as well as soil fertiliser for local farmland. Now that residents can use any plastic bag to line their caddies it should make the whole process even simpler.” 

The plastic bags are now accepted by the processing plant, as well as carrier bags, compostable liners, and newspaper. Extracted liner bags are sent to an energy recovery facility, where they are incinerated and turned into energy.

To line their caddy Oxford residents can use:

  • carrier bags
  • supermarket carrier bags
  • pedal bin liners
  • any other plastic bag, such as those that have contained food items like bread bags or salad bags
  • compostable bags
  • newspaper
  • or the food can be simply put into the caddy with no liner at all. 

Compostable liners are more expensive than ordinary plastic bags, and can tear or leak, creating a mess. Plastic bags are cheaper and stronger than compostable liners. It means residents have more options so they can use bags that are more readily available in the home. Anyone wanting to buy plastic caddy liners can do so at a cost of £1.50 for a roll of 40, from Oxford City Council’s depot at Marsh Road, OX4 2HH.

The only exceptions are black bin bags or anything made from textiles or non-plastic materials.

For more details please visit the food waste pages.