Getting started as a Food Waste Hero

What is a Food Waste Hero and how do I get involved?

Food Waste Heroes are OLIOers who pick up unsold surplus food from businesses to save it from going to waste. Learn more on our ‘Become a Food Waste Hero’ page.


Why are no collection slots available near me?

All collection slots currently available near you can be viewed on the collection slots page on the Volunteer Hub.

Please note that collection slots are only visible to users living within a certain distance of the pick-up location for food safety reasons. 

If there are no collection slots showing as available near you, then it's either because there are no participating locations nearby, or they have all been claimed by other Food Waste Heroes already.

This gives you the opportunity to sign up a new place to OLIO as a Squad Starter! We are relying on our community to help thousands of local businesses save food from going to waste. Sign up to our Squad Starter badge to learn more about this role and how you can sign up a new place to OLIO.


What different types of collection slots are there?

There are three different types of collection slots you can claim: ongoing, temporary and one-off collection slots.

As the names suggest, 'ongoing' slots have a start date and no end date. They might happen daily, once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month. If you claim an 'ongoing' slot, collections will happen until you step down, or if the business stops working with OLIO on your collection day/time.

'Temporary' collection slots are the same as 'ongoing' ones, just that 'temporary' slots have an end date. It is clear that this slot will end at some point in the future. This could be because a fellow Food Waste Hero has offered up their slot on a temporary basis, for example, because they're away and hope for someone, like you, to cover for them temporarily.

Lastly, 'one-off' collection slots happen only once. They have an end date, just like 'temporary' slots, but they only happen once. This could either be because a fellow Food Waste Hero has skipped or paused one of their collections, or the pick-up could be from an event that only happens once.


Why can’t I claim a ‘temporary’ or ‘one-off’ slot?

Currently, only Food Waste Heroes who have been previously inducted for an ongoing collection slot are able to claim temporary or one-off collection slots, unless the temporary/one-off slot is in more than 72 hours from the time of your trying to claim it. This is to allow enough time for you to complete the relevant training and onboarding before the collection.