Hot summers and food waste – try these simple steps

Hot summers and food are not always a great combination, from food being wasted if not kept cool inside your home through to preventing problems with the weekly food waste recycling.

And, of course, you should never put any food waste – not a scrap – in your rubbish bin or bags.

A kitchen caddy and a lockable food waste container are provided to most homes for the collection of food waste.

Do not put the kitchen caddy outside instead of the bigger food waste bin; caddies are not as tough or as easily seen by busy collection crews.  For a free replacement kitchen caddy or lockable kerbside food waste container, order them via your district council.

Flies cannot lay eggs on your food waste unless you give them access to it. Lids open on food containers, dirty containers or adding food to your rubbish bin, are all invitations to houseflies, whose lifecycle – from egg to maggot to pupa to fly – speeds up in hot weather to only 7-10 days.

Caddies can be kept clean by lining your it with newspaper or the compostable liners that can be bought in many local shops. Tie liners off when putting into your external bin or ensure food waste is fully wrapped in newspaper, as shown in our You Tube video.

If you regularly empty the kitchen caddy, and put the liner or newspaper ball into your kerbside container without leaving any lids open, you will stop flies laying eggs. Some residents put food waste in compostable liners into their freezers between collections, as this prevents smells, pests and vermin until the food is collected.

Try to keep kerbside food bins out of direct sunlight. Maggots in your external food bin? Try tucking sheets of paper over the food waste as a barrier (while ensuring the food waste will still easily tip out). After the next collection, clean out your food caddy and bin. You can use washing-up liquid, while white vinegar is an effective, environmentally-friendly disinfectant.

If your food waste bin or caddy is broken, free replacements can be ordered online.

One way to reduce food waste is to home compost certain non-cooked wastes, such as vegetable and citrus peelings, salad items, tea bags, coffee grounds, apple cores and banana skins.  For guidance on home composting, and how to purchase low price composting bins, see the home composting pages.

Another way to cut food waste is to use peelings from well-washed vegetables, broccoli stalks, cauliflowers leaves and wilting mushrooms to make your own vegetable stock.  And maximise the value of a chicken carcass or what is left from family roasts.  For ideas, see the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

PS: Summer or winter, ensure no food waste – not a scrap – goes into your rubbish, any smell waste is double bagged, and keep the bin lid closed at all times.