Food waste scheme dishes up new jobs for young people.

A new scheme to recycle food waste in Renfrewshire is also helping to tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Council recently launched weekly collections to make it easier for people to recycle their food waste.

The new scheme has created 24 jobs, with 15 of the vacancies being filled by unemployed young people aged between 18 and 25.

The young people were recruited through the council’s Youth Employability Service and took part in a five week training programme ahead of the new service launching on 16 September.

As well as helping to get young people into work and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, the food waste collected will be made into fertiliser and energy.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “As well as reducing waste and creating a greener Renfrewshire, tackling youth unemployment is a key priority for the council so this is a win-win situation.

“Not only is this scheme making it free and easier for local residents to recycle their unwanted food, but we are creating jobs, saving money and creating power and fertilisers.”

Gary McGrath, 23, from Paisley is a joiner to trade but was unemployed for a year before joining the new food waste team. He said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my new job and am really grateful for the opportunity.

“The team working together on the service is great, and it’s good to know that every day, we’re delivering a service that will help local people to recycling more and help the environment. I definitely see a future career in recycling.”

A total of 72,000 households across Renfrewshire have received their new food waste caddies: a 7 litre indoor food caddy and a 23 litre outdoor caddy, plus a three month supply of biodegradable caddie bags.

The caddies are emptied weekly on the same day as the usual collection service. When they are close to running out of the biodegradable caddy bags, people should tie a bag to their outside food waste caddy when they put it out for collection.

The council will then leave a free roll of replacement bags. It is important that only these bags are used as ordinary bin liners and carrier bags are not biodegradable.

The scheme will be rolled out to residents in high rise and maisonette properties, plus a number of tenements and flats later in the autumn.

Once it’s fully operational the service aims to lift between 13 and 15 tonnes of food waste per day – that’s roughly what one and a half bin lorries can hold.

If you’re on a wheeled bin collection route and you haven’t received your food caddie please call 0300 300 0300.

You can also visit to find out more about eating well, saving money and creating less waste.