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.

Hospitality and Events (within Estates and Facilities) also have a Sustainability Policy as well as a Food Waste Policy (see useful documents box).

During 2021/2 the university collected a total of 35 tonnes of food waste from across the campus (including Halls of Residence).

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 started introducing food waste collections in staff kitchen in academic buildings and is commited to complete this by the end of 2023 - please see here for more details.

The Student's Union introduced a Community fridge in January 2023 stocked with surplus food from University and Students’ Union outlets, giving those in need a variety of options like sandwiches, wraps and salads, depending on what’s leftover - see here.