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Festive Food Waste

With the festive season rapidly approaching we’re bracing ourselves for an influx of food waste across all our anaerobic digestion plants.


It’s approximated that over 4.2 million Christmas dinners were thrown away across the UK last year. If you break that festive food waste down, it equates to over 260,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies and over 740,000 servings of Christmas pudding!

We’re firm believers in reduce and reuse where possible, but where this isn’t possible the outcome of this food waste recycling will be the creation of green energy in the form of electricity and biogas.

In 2019 we recycled over 500,000 tonnes of food waste and during the Christmas period saw an increase of 10% in Christmas-related food waste across each of our six anaerobic digestion plants.

The energy generated from this level of tonnage could be used to power 51,000km LED fairy lights or produce enough energy to light up the British coastline approximately 15 times. If we weren’t going to use the energy generated to light up fairy lights, it could use it to cook a turkey dinner for 1.8m families!

With over two thirds of people openly admitting they over-buy at Christmas, we’re anticipating increased levels of food waste for this time of year, despite recent reports that people will be buying less food and smaller turkeys as a result of the recent lockdown restrictions and limitations on numbers for this year's family festive gatherings.

As we approach December, it’s useful to remember that as businesses you are responsible for the safe disposal of your food waste and waste cooking oils and fats. To find out more about how we can support you with this, you can find out more in our blog ‘How to Dispose of Fats and Oils’.

As well as assisting with reducing your environmental impact on the local and wider community, your actions of creating green energy from food waste will also enable you to reduce the environmental impact of your business and reduce C02 levels created by food waste that goes straight to landfill.

Once food waste is collected it is transported to one of our 6 anaerobic digestion sites across the UK and will be used as part of the Anaerobic Digestion process to generate gas and electricity to power local businesses or be sold back to the national grid. Using food waste for good, helping you reduce your C02 emissions, improve your green credentials and sustainability.

With the top 5 wasted food this Christmas, featuring mince pies, turkey, Christmas puddings and brussel sprouts it’s likely we’ll all be contributing to the generation of green gas and electricity over the coming weeks.

For each tonne of waste processed through the anaerobic digestion process rather than being sent to landfill, 500kg of C02 emissions are avoided. This is the equivalent of a ¼ of a million tonnes of C02, stopped from entering the atmosphere in the last 12 months – quite an achievement!

If you’d like to talk to us about your food waste or waste cooking oil collection from commercial premises over the coming weeks, then please get in touch with a member of the team.

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