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Working with Local Authorities to Tackle Food Waste

As we enter a year in which it’s likely we’ll see the acceptance and roll out of the Government’s Food Waste Recycling plan, we explore what this could mean for local authorities across England and how we can support and help them navigate the implementation of a long-term, bespoke and cost-effective food waste plan.

We understand that year-on-year local authorities are having to look at the most cost-effective ways of undertaking vital elements of their organisation. Providing value for money in everything they do, and budget restrictions are always a concern.

Our waste and recycling services enable local authorities to deliver reliable waste management services in line with legislation, targets and regulations in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Just some of the reasons local authorities choose to work with us on their food waste plans:

  • Economical and environmentally sustainable approach.
  • We have a network of sites across the country.
  • Reduced contamination in recycling therefore increased revenue.
  • Industry expertise.

We work in partnership with local authorities to help engage their communities and key business members. Through marketing support and the creation of various council-led trials, we have been able to encourage a smarter approach to recycling food waste.

We’re supportive of the phrase ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and where possible across all our sites we implement this in the day-to-day running of our plants on a commercial level and as staff initiatives. It’s this ethos that drives us and makes up ever more diligent when it comes to offering tactical solutions for other businesses when it comes to recycling food waste.

The goal of eliminating all food waste reaching landfill by 2030 is an ambitious one, but one that cannot be underestimated or delivered without the support of the public, local county and district councils and those associated with AD plants and food waste collection services and local businesses.

A lot of work goes into the planning and organisation of creating a successful and sustainable food waste collection service. Engagement from the local community is key and raising awareness of the benefits of recycling food waste for good, both financially and environmentally cannot be underestimated.

Last week (1-5th March) was Food Waste Action Week, an initiative set up by WRAP and we were delighted to have been able to sponsor an event held by Let’s Recycle, focusing on food waste. As one of the leading Anaerobic Digestion operators in the UK, we take our role in the recycling and processing of food waste seriously and are proud to lead the way in several initiatives with market leading food producers, distributers and local authorities across the UK.

One of our most recent food waste trials with a local authority saw us process approximately 300 tonnes of solid waste per year on their behalf. This food waste trial meant residents within the trial area scraped food waste into small kitchen caddies, which were then emptied into larger food waste collection containers before being collected and brought back to our AD facilities for processing.

The acceptable food waste our trial partner asked participants to collect featured: bread, meat, fish, peelings, dairy products, eggshells, teabags, plate scrapings and food past its use-by date. The waste collected and processes through the trial produced around 250m3 – 260m3 of digestate fertiliser which we spread on arable farming land local to our facility.

We generated 54,000m3 of gas and 108GJ (Giga Joules) of energy as part of the trial period.

The energy generated was enough to heat 106,000 homes for a day or the equivalent of charging over 3 million mobile phones! In addition to this we were able to send 130MWe send back to the electricity grid.

It’s estimated that around 10 Million tonnes of food waste are generated in the UK every year despite ongoing government legislation and the increasing pressure on businesses to reduce their waste.

Why is recycling food waste important?

  • It helps reduce the amount of food waste in landfills.
  • It reduces CO2 emissions created by food waste in landfill.
  • It is a renewable process generating green energy.

This landmark government legislation is set to change the way we recycle food waste for good. We’ve seen a great deal of enthusiasm for these, and similar schemes and food waste reduction trials. WRAP reported back in August, that despite many other critical priorities for businesses throughout the pandemic, the commitment to reducing food waste as a business has remained steadfast.

Business focus to protect and restore our environment for future generations is strong and we’re very much behind that. If you’d like to talk to us about any of your food waste recycling needs, then please get in touch with a member of the team.

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