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.

Where can I find my Food Waste Hero ID?

You can find your Food Waste Hero ID under 'My Collection Slot' on the Volunteer Hub, or directly by clicking HERE.

Tip: bookmark the page so you can find it again quickly!

How often can I collect food as a Food Waste Hero?

First of all, we're so happy to see so many Food Waste Heroes all around the world collecting and distributing surplus food in their local communities! Globally there are over 10,000 Food Waste Heroes and many of them are collecting regularly, that is once or twice per week, or irregularly, that is whenever it suits them and there's availability.

How much food can I expect to collect?

In short, it depends! Food Waste Heroes collect any and all unsold surplus food, so this is completely down to what the business has available. Having a car is not a requirement to be a Food Waste Hero, so we anticipate you will be able to collect comfortably by foot/other modes of transport from the vast majority of businesses. 

Some businesses will frequently have larger volumes of food surplus so collecting by car may be easier. Please do check in your Squad's group chat to confirm if this is the case, and ensure you have sufficient space and time to safely store and redistribute the food after collection.

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.


How often can I collect food as a Food Waste Hero?

First of all, we're so happy to see so many Food Waste Heroes all around the world collecting and distributing surplus food in their local communities! Globally there are over 10,000 Food Waste Heroes and many of them are collecting regularly, that is once or twice per week, or irregularly, that is whenever it suits them and there's availability


How many 'ongoing' slots can I claim?

To give as many people as possible a chance to have an ongoing collection slot with a business, we limit the number of  ongoing collection slots any one Food Waste Hero can have to 2 slots. This rule doesn't apply in regions where there aren't that many Food Waste Heroes yet. In this case a Food Waste Hero may have more than 2 regular collection slots.


How many 'temporary' or 'one-off' slots can I claim?

Food Waste Heroes can have up to 2 temporary or one-off collection slots assigned to their account at any given time, in addition to any ongoing slots (if any). For example, a Food Waste Hero might be collecting from a local cafe twice a week, and additionally they might cover one of their fellow Food Waste Heroes in the same week as a one-off, and collect surplus food from an event. Once they've completed any of their temporary or one-off collections they may claim additional temporary or one-off collections, 48 hours after their last temporary or one-off collection.


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.