UCL Engineering


Competition | Let's get WASTE..LESS! | UCL Engineering Welcome Festival 2021

29 September 2021–15 October 2021, 10:00 am–4:00 pm

Close up of a blue recycling bin showing the circular arrow logo.

Get behind sustainable change at UCL and be in with the chance of winning dinner for two at the world’s first zero-waste restaurant in London! 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 this campus-wide competition.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL students






UCL International Development Hub

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’ restaurant in London, and the runner up will be gifted free coffee on campus - for a full term! View full terms and conditions on Moodle. 

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;
  4. Waste that the consumer puts in the bin (plate waste).

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

Competition details

  • Please choose one of the challenges 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 15th October.
  • Winners will be announced via email and social media on Friday 22nd October.
  • For full terms and conditions please visit our Moodle site.


  1. Use it or lose it! We cater for two halls of residences that run a ‘help-yourself’ 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?

Find out more

Image credit: Sigmund on Unsplash.

Discover more about the UCL International Development Hub