Processing food waste in Kent

We recycle food waste on behalf of the district and borough councils with separate collections. In 2017/2018, 27,575 tonnes of food waste was collected across Kent.

No food waste is sent to landfill and we work closely with suppliers to ensure that the materials they process on our behalf are handled by responsible and ethical companies.

If your food waste is collected separately, we can recycle your waste using two separate processes that create either compost or gas and agricultural fertiliser:

How food is recycled in Kent

In-vessel composting (IVC)

The in-vessel composting (IVC) process mixes garden and food waste within composting halls which provide the optimum conditions for the waste to compost in terms of:

  • moisture
  • temperature
  • carbon-nitrogen ratio
  • oxygen.

It is therefore fast, effective and meets regulatory requirements for sanitation required by the Animal By-Product Regulations (ABPR) as well as PAS100 quality requirements. The waste is heated up to 60°C for a minimum of 16 days while being turned every 48 hours to kill off any harmful microbes. After treatment, the compost is screened and left to stabilise to ensure a nutrient-rich and peat-free compost that is suitable to use as a soil improver in farming and agriculture.

Anaerobic digestion

This is the process of breaking down food without the use of oxygen.  A gas is then produced which is used in the generation of energy and digestate (soil conditioner) to a PAS110 standard which can be used in agriculture industry.

Read the report

If you would like to find out more about what happens to Kent’s household waste and recycling, read the Kent Resource Partnership Materials End Destination Report (PDF, 1.1 MB).