Reducing food waste

Brown bin

Seven million tonnes of food and drink are wasted each year in the UK. 

By reducing the amount you throw away you can save around £60 a month, that’s over £700 a year. 

There are plenty of easy ways you can reduce your food waste and save money.

If you know a project which reduces food waste in Waltham Forest please email it to and we will aim to include it on this page.


Smart shopping

Take a photo of what’s in your cupboards, fridge and freezer or write a list of what you want before you go to the shops. This way you’ll know exactly what you need and there’s less chance of buying more than you’ll eat. 

Before you shop, you can also find recipes for leftover ingredients using the Love Food Hate Waste Tool. 


Correctly storing your food can extend its life at home. 


  • Keep your fridge temperature between 0oC and 5oC.
  • Store bread in a cool dark place not the fridge and freeze bread if you’re making toast.
  • Fruit and veg have specially designed packaging to keep them fresher for longer, so keep them sealed until needed.
  • Re-seal any opened packets with cling film or foil, or store in air tight containers.

Best Before dates

Best Before dates are not the same as Use-By dates. 

Best Before labels refer to food quality. Use-By refers to its safety. 

You can still eat food which has passed its Best Before date, but it may not be at its best.

You shouldn’t eat food after its Use-By date.

Portion sizes

Knowing how much food to cook will cut the amount you throw away afterwards. 

Use the Portion Calculator on the Love Food Hate waste website to work out how much you’ll need to cook, for the number of people who are eating. 

For more information, visit the Love Food Hate waste website.

Wise Up to Waste

Download the North London Food Lover’s Cookbook that contains 70 recipes from local residents across North London. It gives great tips on what to do with your leftovers and ingredients in your fridge.

Play the Food Waste Game to learn food waste-reducing habits that save money.

Best Before Project

This not-for-profit company collects edible food that would have been wasted and distributes it to people who need it. 

Food retailers, charities and volunteers collect food approaching or past its Best Before date and either sell it at discount prices or donate it to charities. 

Find out more about their mission and how you can support them by visiting the Best Before website.

The People’s Kitchen

Hosted by Organic Lea at the Hornbeam Café, The People's Kitchen invites people on the first Monday of every month to feast on delicious home-cooked food using ingredients which would have been thrown away. You can volunteer to cook from 10am or simply turn up to enjoy lunch from 1pm-2.30pm. Email:

Home composting

We've teamed up with Get Composting to offer residents reduced priced home composting bins, wormeries and water butts starting at just £16.98 (+ delivery).

To find out more or to order a compost bin, please call 0844 571 4444 or visit Get Composting.