Food (not including compostable packaging)

All food waste (not including compostable packaging).

Compostable packaging must not be placed in Food bins (green lid). Compostable packing is required to be processed using in-vessel composting but the University's general waste contractor is not able to utilise this technology due to the scale of food waste they are collecting across the city of Edinburgh. Instead they send all the University's food waste to anaerobic digestion, and compostable packaging cannot be treated in this way and would be removed from the food waste stream (as a contaminant) and sent as refuse-derived fuel (as the University's General Waste is).

Under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012, food businesses consistently producing 5 kg or more food waste a week must segregate food waste from general waste and present it for separate collection. At the University, this is the case at all ACE cafes (including production kitchens) and EUSA outlets. The feasibility of rolling out this service across all offices has been undertaken, and at present it is simply not feasible for a number of reasons. There are Health and Safety concerns if caddies are left for periods of time unemptied, it is an added workload for our cleaners, we do not have the capacity for additional external bins in any of our compounds, and there is not enough food waste produced in the office environment to justify. 

Yes - cooked food, uncooked/raw food, plate scrapings, meat, fruit, vegetables
No - compostable packaging, compostable disposable drinks cups, biodegradable plastics


  1. Remove all packaging and place food only in Food bin where provided (e.g. in cafes where purchased).
  2. If no food waste bin is available, place in General Waste bin (grey lid).
  3. Suitable packaging can be placed in Dry Mixed Recycling bin (orange lid) if it is clean of all food residues; if this is not possible food packaging must be placed in General Waste bin (grey lid).