Let’s Get Waste…LESS

As part of the UN ‘Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day’ the UCL International Development Hub and CH&Co have teamed up to tackle food waste at UCL with a campus wide competition.

We’re looking for bright and innovative ways for us to tackle waste and want you to help us get there! The winning entry will receive dinner for two at the Michelin Green star acclaimed ‘Silo’ and the runner up will be gifted free coffee on campus - for a full term!

Competition details:

Generally, waste breaks down into:

  1. Food put on the counter that isn’t eaten (unserved food),
  2. Foods that reach their sell-by date (spoilage e.g. sandwiches),
  3. Food that is the by-product of production in the kitchen (prep waste)
  4. Waste that the consumer puts in the bin (plate waste).

Currently, our food waste is collected for anaerobic digestion (industrial composting), and we will soon also be working with ‘Too Good to Go’ but we have 3 current challenges on campus.

Please choose one of the below and submit your idea in 300 words via email to idhub@ucl.ac.uk. All entries will be shortlisted based on practicality, ease of implementation and impact. The competition opens at 10am on Wednesday 29th September and will close at 4pm on Friday 22nd October. Winners will be announced via email and social media on Friday 29th October. For full terms and conditions please see below.


1.Use it or lose it!

We cater for two halls of residences that run a ‘help-your-self’ breakfast service and salad bar. This often results in students putting more on their plate than they are able to eat, leading to a lot of edible food ending up in the bin. How might we encourage students to only take what they’ll eat?

2.It’s good to share your peelings.

We often have fruit and vegetable peelings from producing lunch. Although these are sent to industrial composting, it feels as if they could be useful on campus for someone who needs good quality compost. How can we effectively distribute food peelings to someone on campus who may need them?

3.What can we dough better?

We operate around 10 coffee outlets on campus and the majority of these serve pastries. Often, at the end of the day we will have some pastries left over, that can’t be sold the next day. Although we have avenues to redistribute these, we’d like to reduce the amount that remains at the end of the day. How can we help the supervisors who run the café’s make sure they have well stocked displays, without too much left at the end of the day?