This paper examines the rate of degradaticin of food waste in a leach bed reactor (LBR) under four different operating conditions. The effects of leachate recirculation at a low and high flow rate are examined with and without connection to an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB). Two dilution rates of the effective volume of the leach bed reactors were investigated: 1 and 6 dilutions per LBR per day. The increase in dilution rate from 1 to 6 improved the destruction of volatile solids without connection to the UASB. However connection to the UASB greatly improved the destruction of volatile solids (by almost 60%) at the low recirculation rate of I dilution per day. The increase in volatile solids destruction with connection to the UASB was attributed to an increase in leachate pH and buffering capacity provided by recirculated effluent from the UASB to the leach beds. The destruction of volatile solids for both the low and high dilution rates was similar with connection to the UASB, giving 82% and 88% volatile solids destruction respectively. This suggests that the most efficient leaching condition is 1 dilution per day with connection to the UASB. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.