Food Waste

Around 15 million tonnes of food a year is wasted in the UK, 9 million tonnes of which is thrown away by various hospitality and food services.

Members of the University can reduce their waste by considering what they order for University catered events - for more information visit the Sustainable Food pages.

The University has been collecting food waste from catered Halls of Residence for some time now and in the academic year 2019/20, 67 tonnes of food waste was generated in residences and sent for anaerobic digestion rather than disposing of it. During 2019/20 a further 2 tonnes of food waste was generated and collected from Food on Campus outlets.

Our food waste is collected by Veolia (ES) UK Ltd and taken to their Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Trafford Park to be bulked up, before being transferred to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities in Warwickshire operated by Biogen. Their treatment process can be seen in the video to the right of this page.

As a result of the current Covid-19 Pandemic a large number of Food on Campus outlets on the main campus have closed either temporarily or on a permanent basis so therefore, as of November 2021, we only have food waste bins at the following locations:

  • Students Union*
  • Starbucks, Sackville Street

* these locations have food waste bins for staff and students to use - the others have food waste bins in the kitchens only.

in June 2022 the university introduced food waste collection trials in a number of buildings - please see here for more details.