Food Packaging Waste: The Next Big Challenge?

Whilst the debate on food recycling seems to be chugging a long at a steady pace, with more and more local authorities see the benefits of proper food waste management, in addition to central government.

McDonalds Restaurants headline a new packaging and food recycling initiative in the UK

However, the next battleground already seems to be in sight – and that’s what comes next for food waste packaging.

With zero waste to landfill as the goal, food waste packaging is the unwanted defender in the way. Often unsuitable for ‘regular’ recycling after being in contact with food, the packaging for products has to go in general waste.

Likewise, for areas with regular food waste collections, these containers aren’t always biodegradable, so would be unsuitable to go in food and garden waste, too.

Oxford City Council is one such local authority currently grappling with what to do when it comes to recycling food waste packaging. Council members are toying with nipping the issue in the bud in some senses, by voting on a proposal that will require street food traders to use only biodegradable or recyclable packaging and utensils/

A spokesman for Oxford City Council said: “The council’s general purposes licensing committee approved a proposed condition for food traders which requires all packaging and utensils for use by customers to be made of biodegradable or recyclable materials.

“The condition is intended to reduce the amount of commercial waste that goes to landfill.”

In the US, two pro-recycling and sustainability groups are reporting on what they call ‘post consumer’ packaging recycling, and have found that some of the bigger highstreet names are already ahead of the curve in this regard.

Starbucks and McDonalds in particular were singled out for praise, using as much as 30% post-consumer materials in their paper cups and sandwich packaging.

It seems, then, that businesses large enough capture food packaging at their premises would do well to target post-consumer usage for maximum efficiency.

However, looking at takeaways and street food, biodegradable packaging and wrapping could well have the largest impact on reducing how much waste ends up in landfill.

UK Shopping Centres Set Sights on Food Waste Recycling

A complex microcosm of retailers, food outlets, staff and public – shopping centres can be tricky environments to ensure proper food waste management practices are upheld.

Castlepoint Shopping Park, Bournemouth

However, on the of the UK’s biggest city centre shopping malls – Trinity, in Leeds, Yorkshire – has come up with a surprisingly simple tactic as aims to drive down waste and improve it’s recycling rate: Clear plastic bags.

With 120 businesses, including over a dozen restaurants housed in the ‘Trinity Kitchen’ – an eclectic take on a food court – Trinity is a prime candidate for food recycling, and has already taken steps, such as separate food recycling bins in it’s eating areas, to ensure there is a solid baseline for food waste management.

However, the centre is aiming to step things up a little as Christmas shopping hits it’s peak with the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. Designed to help implement best practise and demonstrate the benefits in proper waste management, Trinity’s management are gunning for a recycling rate of over 95%.

With Yorkshire perpetually ‘mid-table’ in the UK’s recycling league, with a recycling rate of around 50%, Trinity Leeds manager Dave Downes is hoping the centre can become a positive influence on the region, and help set a new standard for recycling in Leeds.

“We have hit our busiest period of the year so what better time to show just what we can do to provide a great shopping experience, while making a hugely positive mark on the environment,” said Downes.

“From now, our Make your Mark campaign will see waste channeled towards the very latest recycling technologies including anaerobic digestion which turns gasses emitted from food waste into the production of electricity.”

Clear plastic bags will be used by all shops and restaurants in the centre, with an aims to bring a sense of visible accountability to waste in the centre.

“There’s really nowhere to hide with clear bags,” said Dave Downes. “Our aim is zero waste and if waste is not segregated into the right channel, we need to be able to see why.”

A simple, but effective tact from the centre, who will also be incentivising stores and businesses for helping contribute to meet food waste management targets.

Lords Slam European Union Food Waste Tactics

The Lords EU Committee has branded the level of food waste in the UK ‘morally repugnant’ and called for supermarkets to end “buy one get one free” offers in a bid to reduce the amount of store-bought food waste that ends up in landfill.

Food Recycling spreads around the UK, with South Northamptonshire council the latest to announce a scheme

The committee was speaking after the latest figures which show the UK dumps around 15 million tonnes of food every year; contributing to a total of upwards of 90 million tonnes across the EU.

Despite savvy efforts from the European Union, as well as UK-based organisations and campaigns such as WRAP, the report from the Lords EU Committee has labelled the current efforts “fragmented and un-targeted”.

With a new European Commission set to take office later this year, the committee is already piling on the pressure to see them introduce a five-year plan within six months of coming into power.

Committee chairwoman Baroness Scott said: “Food waste in the EU and the UK is clearly a huge issue. Not only is it morally repugnant, but it has serious economic and environmental implications.

“The fact that 90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the EU each year shows the extent of the problem and explains why we are calling for urgent action.

“Globally, consumers in industrialised nations waste up to 222 million tons of food a year, which is equivalent to nearly the entire level of net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We cannot allow the complexity of the issues around defining and monitoring food waste to delay action any further.

“We are calling on the new European Commission, which will be appointed in November this year, to publish a five-year strategy for reducing food waste across the EU, and to do so within six months of taking office.”

As well as calling for action from Brussels, Baroness Scott’s report also put a tremendous level of pressure on retailers to take more responsibility for their part in the food waste cycle.

“Buy One Get One Free” offers were the focus of much of the report, however calls for more food that could go to landfill to instead be sent to food banks and not cancel orders of food from farmers after the produce has been grown, a practice which leads to edible food being ploughed back into the fields.

Food & Drink Manufacturers Make Encouraging Progress in Landfill Reduction

The amount of food, drink and packaging waste being sent to landfill by manufacturers has take a sharp downturn in 2012-13, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Food waste from the catering and hospitality sector at a recycling centre

In a new report published this week – titled the Members’ Waste Survey – the FDF’s ket message was one of impressive progress, announcing only 3% of food and packaging waste was sent to landfill during 2012 – a huge dip in proportion to the previous benchmark of 16.5%, which was set in 2006.

FDF director of sustainability Andrew Kuyk said: “These latest findings highlight that FDF members are close to achieving our zero food and packaging waste target by 2015 by ingraining good environmental practices to deliver a more resilient and resource efficient supply chain.”

Published jointly with WRAP – the Waste and Resources Action Programme – the FDF Members’ Waste Survey estimated the concerted effort of manufacturers diverted or prevented 250,000 tonnes of food waste from being landfilled by redistributing it.

One of the key uses was supplying it as animal feed, according to the report.

However, food was recycling also proved popular, with a massive jump of 28% of all waste handled this way, being sent as feedstock to projects like anaerobic digesters.

WRAP’s head of food and drink Andy Dawe said: “We are delighted to see these latest results which show good progress from the industry. With waste to landfill now so low, businesses should grasp the opportunity to focus on the greater financial savings achievable through focussing on waste prevention.”

The report was based on responses from 84 sites which gave full information on waste management and collectively accounted for over 138,000 tonnes, with a mere 4,200 tonnes (around 3%) sent to landfill.

Pubs Lead the Way in Food Packaging Recycling

A new report from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has highlighted the excellence of the humble British Pub in recycling it’s food packaging.

Oast & Squire Pub serviced by Eco Food Recycling

Eco Food Recycling collecting from a leading pub chain

The report, ‘Overview of waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service (HaFS) sector’ highlights that 63% of non-food waste amongst puss is recycled, whilst healthcare services have the lowest at a mere 14%.

Pubs can mostly boast such a high figure thanks to it’s two most popular forms of delivery: bottles and barrels. Whilst barrels are property of breweries and empties are picked up on delivery of new ones, glass makes up 61% of the 1.3m tonnes of packaging used in the sector each year.

It also estimates that 420,000 tonnes of that packaging goes to landfill, of which around 80% could be readily recycled.

The report states: “Packaging plays a vital role in protecting and preserving food and drink throughout the supply chain and keeping it fresher for longer.

“However, the amount of packaging used around products used by the HaFS, as in other sectors, is about getting the balance of product protection verses packaging use right (packaging optimisation).

“This then has a huge benefit throughout the supply chain, reducing the amount of packaging produced, product damage, raw material used, operational costs, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately the cost of managing waste.”

Martin Kersh, chief operating officer of the Foodservice Packaging Association, said: “Although the Report looks at all aspects of food and packaging, the opportunities to recover packaging are clearly highlighted and our manufacturers and suppliers are very keen to work with the sector to help ensure a greater volume is recovered and dealt with appropriately.

“It is clear that there are significant opportunities for the sector to reduce costs and to increase recycling and we are confident that the programme WRAP has put in place, together with the Report, will encourage the sector to achieve significant improvements.

“Our members will continue to work with the hospitality and foodservice sectors and with WRAP by supporting and promoting the Agreement’s programmes and to help ensure the Agreement’s targets are met wherever possible.”

London Launches Business Food Waste & Recycling Scheme

London Mayor Boris Johnson has kicked off a £1m scheme aiming to help businesses in the capital cut down on food waste.


Called FoodSave, the project is backed by the Greater London Authority, the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and the European Regional Development Fund, and will work hand-in-hand with over 240 small and medium sized businesses across the City.

Foodsave was officially launched earlier this week and will engage with the businesses in it’s remit for around 18 months.

Costing £1m, the scheme aims to provide a £360,000 total saving for all the businesses involved per year, and get more businesses on board with the same standard of food recycling that is currently being pushed out to so many households in London.

Furthermore, the environmental impact is expected to be considerable, with potential for around 1,000 tonnes of food waste to be diverted from landfill.

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s senior adviser on environment said: “FoodSave is a brilliant initiative that can help businesses reduce their food waste disposal costs and become more efficient. I encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved and both save money and help the environment.”

The European Regional Development Fund is providing £500,000 for the project, while the Mayor of London has committed £370,000 and the remaining £130,000 is coming from LWARB.

Restaurants, hotels, pubs, etc. will get a minimum of 12 hours support from the Sustainable Restaurants Association, identifying and taking advantage of opportunities to cut down on food waste as well as handling proper food recycling.

Otherwise, Sustain will offer practical advice on waste management to food retailers, caterers and more.


The launch of the scheme comes just a few weeks after the publication of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)’s food waste report estimates that around four million tonnes of food waste a year comes from comes from food service, restaurants and manufacturing.

Scotland: New Rules for Business Food Waste Set for January 2014

Businesses and commercial bodies in Scotland have been warned that new rules are imminent that must see them ramp up their food recycling efforts or face a fine.

Starting from the 1st of January 2014, Scottish businesses must recycle their food waste – alongside plastic, metal, glass and paper – or risk a fine from the government.

The plans come as part of a drive by the Scottish Parliament to be at a 70% waste recycling rate by 2015, and will be backed by an awareness campaign from Zero Waste Scotland.

Zero Waste Scotland

Whilst only just coming into effect, the new Waste Regulations for Scotland were passed over a year ago, in May 2012, giving many businesses adequate time to find an adequate food recycling company.

Estimates from the initial reports that lead to the regulation being passed in Parliament suggested that Scottish businesses are paying £95m in landfill taxes, to throw away materials that could be worth as much a £97m when either recycled properly or used a feedstock.

Zero Waste Scotland will be using that strong financial incentive to bring businesses on board with the new regulations, pointing out the possibility of saving money by utilising proper food waste management.

Several Scottish businesses have already found novel ways of food recycling in light of the new impositions; a pub in Aberdeen was featured on the BBC news website for introducing a wormery to digest unwanted food, whilst several Edinburgh restaurants have gotten ahead of the curve and are proudly boasting 95% recycling rates.
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It’s great to see that businesses are already working to become ready for the introduction of the regulations.
“The regulations are designed to enable organisations to further reduce waste, enable the recycling of quality materials, and be more resource efficient – all offering the potential for cost savings and wider economic opportunities.
“We have a range of support available to help over the coming months and would ask those needing help to get in touch.”

WRAP Coins New Food Packaging Recycling System

The Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced positive preliminary findings from initial tests of a new food waste packaging system, it announced in a report this week.

Waste Resources Action Programme

Whilst food recycling has enjoyed significant improvement around the world, recycling food packaging has proved somewhat trickier. The combination of materials require to package some food items often means separating different sections of the packaging, and then there’s the matter of polypropylene.

Polypropylene – PP as it’s known in the industry, is an sector standard for food packaging used in almost half of ‘plastic’ food packaging such as trays, tubs and pots.

However, food grade PP must be kept separate when recycling and processing as only PP that has been in contact with food can be recycled into new food grade PP, as per UK and US packaging laws.

In order to create an automated system that can sort food-grade PP from non-food-grade PP, WRAP has harnessed a process called ‘diffraction gratings’.

An exceptionally high-tech system, a fraction gratings system scans material with a laser designed to reflect a specific pattern as the packaging is being processed. From there, that pattern is captured by a high-resolution camera, which feeds into a computer capable of processing the packaging accordingly. Clever stuff.

“It’s hoped that these results [of the technical trial] should provide confidence to the packaging and recycling industry to take on the development using the methodology presented in the report to develop and commercialise a food grade recycling process for post-consumer PP packaging,” WRAP programme area manager for packaging, Claire Shrewsbury, said,

“Retailers want to use more recycled content in their packaging, the problem is that it needs to be food grade standard,”

Sainsbury’s Celebrates Zero Waste to Landfill

Following on from announcing it’s 20×20 sustainability goals in 2010, Sainsbury’s has announced it has achieved it’s goal of sending zero waste to landfill.

Sainsbury's launch food recycling campaign: "make your roast go further"

Originally one of a set of twenty targets to be met by 2020, the supermarket giant have successfully reigned in it’s store-level food recycling with a number of innovative initiatives to help put leftover food to work for the retailer, rather than just dumping it.

According to it’s latest CSR update, the supermarket chain has detailed some of the ongoing strategies that have helped them reach this goal well ahead of schedule, including:

– Recycling packaging and general waste
– Processing waste from in-store bakeries into biscuit meal animal feed to support British farmers
– Donating surplus food to charities whilst it’s still edible
– Recycling it’s food waste into energy using anaerobic digestion.

Also detailed in the report were Sainsbury’s water-saving strategies, which have helped halve store floor consumption since 2005.

Justin King, Chief Executive, Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re very proud of hitting our target for zero waste to landfill which we set three years ago. We know times are tough for many customers but they still rightly expect Sainsbury’s to lead the way on the things that will always matter to all of us including caring for our environment.”

The chain, famous for working with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, has also recently opened what they say is ‘Britain’s Greenest Convenience Store’. Located in Hasluck’s Green, Birmingham, the store boasts a wooden panel construction and solar panel-powered LED lighting.

Co-Op Aim to Divert All Store Food Waste From Landfill By End of Summer

Following on from last-week’s news that Tesco would be stepping up the food recycling commitment across it’s stores, the Co-operative Group also detailed a new scheme to raise standards throughout it’s brand.

The Co-operative food recycling

However, unlike Tesco’s aim to improve their food recycling efforts, The Co-operative say that their scheme aims to divert all their store’s food waste from landfill, to the tune of around 34,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Amongst it’s standards for the scheme, The Co-Operative have interestingly said they will minimise the use of incinerators where possible and make the most of the improved anaerobic digestion infrastructure across the country, aiming to provide feedstock to for green energy.

Using an in-house logistics division, separation of organic waste will be carried out at store level before being taken to recycling centres by the The Co-operative’s Logistics Service.

It seems that The Co-operative have taken a similarly urgent approach to the timing of the new scheme, with 1,500 stores having it in place at time of writing, and the rest of the retailer’s stores following suit by the end of Summer.

With more than 2,800 stores under their wing, The Co-operative are also introducing measures to cut down on road miles and cut operating costs.

Tesco Revamps Food Waste Strategy, With a Charitable Twist

 UK Supermarket Tesco has revealed new plans to step up it’s food recycling as it discussed the company’s new approach corporate responsibility goals this week.

Tesco's New food recycling initiative

Tesco chief executive, Philip Clarke, used the presentation of the retailer’s ‘Tesco and Society Report 2013’ to call for improved food waste management and a more transparency in how it handles it’s recycling.

One of the key strategies is to control the waste from it’s in-house ‘value’ range of food products, and ensure surplus stock is either recycled properly or donated to charitable causes.

“‘Waste not want not’ is at the heart of every little helps. So it is natural for us to want to take a leading role in preventing the enormous quantities of food going to waste every day around the world.” said Mr. Clarke.

“I believe these ambitions demonstrate our new value. They express our determination to use our scale for good to create greater value for society.”

The ‘Tesco and Society Report 2013’ highlighted ‘Three Big Ambitions’ from the supermarket for the future, comprised of improving health and creating job and career opportunities alongside improved food recycling.

Tesco’s initial research highlighted three key areas where food waste is produced: In the supply chain, in store and by consumers – the supermarket chain says that these three areas will be the focus.

An innovative approach from the retailer will see them use data collected from the CLubCard loyalty scheme to profile the typical food waste profile of a store and customer, and using that data to improve over time.

Elsewhere in the supply chain, the report states that enough food waste has been diverted from pilot schemes in some of its UK outlets to provide more than 100,000 meals to FareShare, a national charity that seeks to relieve food poverty and waste.

After this successful pilot, Tesco say that all of it’s grocery-carrying stores (excluding the huge superstores) will follow suitably the end of 2013 and aims to provide enough surplus food to serve more than one million meals to UK charities.

Scotland Targets Sustainable Future for Restaurant Recycling

A ground-breaking sustainability strategy has been launched in Edinburgh this week as the a trade body in the food and drink industry are aims to ramp up restaurant food recycling.

Scottish Trade Body seeks sustainability in food and drink industry through increased restaurant food recycling

Dubbed ‘Environmental Ambition’, trade body Scotland Food & Drink has called on a renewed focus for resource management, efficiency and recycling.

At an event held at the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle over 100 attendees from the Scottish food and drink industry listened to the strategy presented in full, with speakers emphasising the importance of this industry becoming self-sustaining and the need for collaboration between companies.

Five core themes were present in the presentation:

– Efficient use of resources
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
– Waste – including restaurant food recycling and zero waste to landfill
– Reducing the impact of transport
– Making businesses more resilient to climate change.

James Withers Scotland Food & Drink chief executive said: “A commitment to sustainability is the mark of a progressive industry and this is the first collaborative strategy with the input of all food and drink sectors. Being sustainable means two things for the industry: a significant and growing contribution to the Scottish economy and responsible stewardship of our environment to the benefit of our reputation and growth.”

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry makes a huge contribution to our society and our economy – through its enterprise, innovation and reputation at home and abroad.

“The Scottish Government is passionate about maximising the high-quality food Scotland produces while ensuring that its production is sustainable and not wasteful. In a future of global uncertainty around water supply and food security, Scotland is blessed which comparatively rich resources. However, the need to manage these carefully and protect them has never been more clear.

“Scotland Food & Drink’s collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland and many others across industry and the public sector is increasingly important as we seek to grow our economy while protecting our environment.”

DEFRA Urges Proper Food Recycling After Meat Scandals

Government officials have urged that both businesses and commercial organisations take the proper steps to ensure waste food is recycled properly following the ‘horse meat’ scandals that have affected several large organisations recently.

Bulk food waste disposal service for supermarkets

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have both urged consumers and suppliers to return any products they don’t wish to consume to the point of purchase or somewhere it can be properly recycled.

Tesco have already confirmed that it would be sending none of it’s waste meat to landfill and would be treating it in conjunction with anaerobic digestion-using palletised food waste disposers.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have told the public that bolognese, lasagne and burger products that have been withdrawn from supermarket shelves should be returned to retailers as a precaution.

Councillor David Dobbs, chairman of Oxfordshire Waste Partnership, said: “It’s important that the public take government advice, but we would like to remind people that all food waste can be recycled in Oxfordshire. Frozen meat products taken out of their packaging can be put with all other food waste, cooked or uncooked, in food waste bins.”

Additionally, a spokesperson for Tesco reiterated that “The items will be disposed of to ensure that they can not re-enter the food chain, most will be turned into fuel for energy through anaerobic digestion.”

Trade body Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) have affirmed that retailers are making the right choice in disposing their waste with AD:

An ADBA spokeswoman said: “We are glad that it is going to AD rather than being sent to landfill. We know that most retailers are doing the greenest thing that they can with the food that is being wasted, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are also sending their food waste to AD.”

Commercial food waste collections featured on Meridian News

Food waste from the catering and hospitality is created in vast amounts in the Meridian region.

Ringwood based Eco Food Recycling, the leading collector of business and commercial food waste in the South,were featured heavily on Meridian News Tonight, 4th January 2013,during the feature on food wasted during the festive period.

Eco Food Recycling who collect commercial food waste from the catering and hospitality sector including Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants had just announced figures of collecting in excess of 7,000 tonnes of local food waste in the last 12 months and were approached by the production team at Meridian to assist in their brief documentary about the vast amounts of food waste that is wasted in the region.

Filming took place at a local branch of a leading Supermarket  where the Operations Manager, Waste and Recycling had travelled from London to be featured in the footage and put forward his companies case about how they were doing their utmost to prevent food waste and once all else had failed how they were getting companies like Eco Food Recycling to collect their supermarket waste, have it fully recycled, and take it to a local Anaerobic Digestion site run by Eco Sustainable Solutions where it is turned into renewable energy.

Eco Food Recycling and one of it’s employee’s ,Charlie Pierson ,were featured heavily in this part of the production as bins were shown being collected from the supermarket site and taken to the food waste recycling facility.

Simon Heaps one of the partners in the food waste collection and recycling business then explained that food waste was a problem that all of us had to take responsibility for.The food producers and re- sellers are all doing their piece by reducing the food waste, companies like Eco Food Recycling are doing their bit by collecting the business food waste but it is the consumer that is producing more food waste than the entire food chain.

Mountains of food waste were shown on the programme, that had been collected by Eco Food Recycling, at the local disposal site in readiness for full recycling and much of this was from plate scrapings and food preparation from the catering and hospitality sector along with considerable quantities from Local Authorities that bring their residential food waste into the site.

The local Bournemouth Council were interviewed and explained that they were looking closely at collecting residential food waste from the kerbside of local homes after obtaining a Government grant.

Finally Trewlawney Dampney the MD of Eco Sustainable Solutions explained the benefits of renewable energy to the viewers. They are one of the leading sites in the country and are fully committed to renewable energy and  sustainability with plans for expansion on the horizon.He explained that food waste was a resource that they were looking to capture and divert from landfill.

Any producers of food waste that are looking to have it diverted from landfill and fully recycled please contact: and look at the companies website for further information.


Seagulls: The Unlikely Casualties in the War Against Food Waste

For anyone that’s ever taken a walk down on of the Britain’s many beachfronts or driven past a playing field during the winter, you’d think that if there was one bird safe from the endangered species list, it’s the seagull.

Seagulls looking for food waste at a landfill site

Not so, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) – as a new report says that the RSPB have seen the population of herring gulls more than halved over the last 40 years – officially giving them the title of ‘endangered species’.

Naturally (though that might be something of a misnomer) a scavenger according to the RSPB, herring gulls have suffered due to a downturn in the fishing industry and tighter EU regulations on ‘discards’ depriving them of a source of food.

The other big factor is, as winter rolls in and seagulls move inland to feed, a fall in discarded food waste and an increase in food recycling is further restricting their food sources.

As huge food chains like McDonald’s, Greggs bakeries and Domino’s Pizza join Marks & Spencer in aiming towards a zero-waste to landfill business model, seagulls are finding that once food-rich dumping grounds are becoming scarce.

Processes like anaerobic digestion and dry fermentation are also proving troublesome for the gulls, as food must be ‘harvested’ from commercial and private waste sites quickly in order to maximise efficiency – meaning food isn’t even in bins as long as it used to be.

Whilst all of this is a testament to a huge increase in food recycling and proper waste management, it’s a shame to think that something we consider to be the greater good can have such a huge adverse effect on a whole species.

Reasons to recycle Commercial Food waste

Many companies are looking for reasons to increase their recycling figures and by having food waste collected and recycled is an easy way to hit those targets. Although there are not the same number of carriers collecting commercial food waste as there is with other waste streams it is still possible to find specialists like Eco Food Recycling around the country.

Below is a list of “drivers” for the decision makers within organizations to consider having their commercial and business food waste collected:

  1. Divertion from landfill – With landfill tax alone standing at £64 per tonne and due to increase in April 2013 and the following year until it reaches £80 it is perfectly obvious that general waste prices will rise accordingly. Carriers will increase their prices significantly over the next two years because food waste is the heaviest waste stream left in general waste bins and they will look to increased prices in an effort to force their customers to divert from landfill and have their food waste fully recycled. The client will have recycling targets that they are looking to achieve and by having food waste collected and recycled it will assist them in their “goals”.
  2. Corporate Social ResonsibilityCSR will be assisted by having commercial food waste collected as businesses look to their environmental policies and their responsibilities to shareholders, customers and employees alike. Price is not always an issue when the environment and our futures and the futures of our children are at stake.Food waste into landfill is the worst possible place it could go as methane as is produced which is harmful to the environment.There are two main ways to have food waste recycled. Anaerobic digestion is where renewable eneregy, gas and electricity,is produced from the recycled food waste. In vessel composting is the alternative and although not a preferred option anymore as compost is produced it is still a fully 100% recycled solution and still very popular.
  3. Waste Hierarchy Compliancy – Since 28th September 2011 it has been a legal requirement for the producer of any waste stream to sign a Duty of Care transfer note and declare that they have applied the Waste Hierarchy to their waste stream.All producers of waste must Reduce, Re-use, Recycle or Recover before the final option of landfill is taken.This is a legal document that can be enforced with civil sanctions if busineeses are found not to be applying the waste hierarchy.It is now an option in virtually all parts of the country to have commercial food waste collected and recycled so it is no longer an excuse to say that the service is not on offer.

Eco Food Recycling offer a national food waste collection and recycling network so that companies can achieve all of the above three points.Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, Schools, Hospitals,  Colleges and Universities, Food Producers, Care Homes, Large Company Canteens and all producers of commercial food waste can now have their food waste collected and recycled by Eco Food Recycling.




Food waste collection company puts customers first

Eco Food Recycling the leading commercial food waste collection company in the South have yet again put their customers needs at the forefront of their business ethic by collecting commercial food waste over the Jubilee Bank Holiday’s.

With Hotels Pubs, Restaurants and Supermarkets bursting at the seams during the Queens Jubilee celebrations it amounts to a lot of food waste to be collected and recycled by the Ringwood based company.

Although public holidays are usually a time of rest for most employees it is a way of life to be working when you are collecting commercial food waste from some of the UK’s largest high street names.

The tonnes of food waste that will be collected by Eco Food Recycling will be taken to a newly opened AD (anaerobic digestion ) plant where renewable energy will be created from the discarded food waste.

Food waste collections destined for new AD plant

Eco Food Recycling the leading collector of commercial food waste in the south will be utilising a new AD plant in the coming weeks when its collections will be diverted from its current IVC destination.

Over 5,000 tonnes of commercial food waste collected by Eco Food Recycling will be taken to the new AD ( anaerobic digestion ) plant at Piddlehinton, run by Eco Sustainable Solutions.

The food waste that is collected from Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Schools and Colleges, Universities, Shopping Centres and large Company Canteens will use the methane gas that is produced to create renewable energy. It also increases the recycling figures as Eco Food Recycling have a zero waste to landfill ethos for all of its customers.



Commercial food waste recycling bins to be heated ?

Food waste bins at 7am in the morning covered in snow

Eco Food Recycling collecting commercial food waste.

When the country is gripped in sub zero temperatures nobody thinks of the “poor old bin man ” who has to go out in all weather conditions.

Although extreme weather causes problems for all refuse collectors it is the companies that have commercial food waste collections that face the biggest problems.

A lot of pubs and hotels who have food waste collections to improve their recycling figures along with adding to their CSR ( corporate social responsibility ) put the food waste into the bins “naked”, meaning that no bags are used.

In the warmer weather this is fine but in the current climate this causes major problems when attempting to empty commercial food waste bins:

  • Food waste is very heavy
  • Food waste is predominantly water
  • Food waste bins are generally left outside, to the elements
  • Frozen food waste does not easily come out of the bin when emptied into the refuse cart
  • The weight of the food waste puts extreme pressure on the bin when lifted, if it does not exit the bin because it is frozen and can be potentially dangerous causing the bin to break

Of course the answer is heated food waste bins to keep the temperature of the food waste at a level to stop it freezing.

Although this will never happen it does prove that there is a problem and it is the poor old bin man who is left to clear up the rubbish,yet again.






Many businesses unaware of food waste recycling regulations

Producers of commercial food waste are mostly unaware of the implications that the Waste Hierarchy has on this particular waste stream.

It is now a legal obligation to sign a declaration on your waste transfer note that you have applied the waste hierachy, meaning that food waste must be recycled before the option of sending it to landfill. This declaration is signed by the producer of the waste.

Eco Food Recycling the leading collector of commercial food waste in the south of england are noticing that more and more of their prospective clients were not told by their current waste carriers for the need to have their food waste recycled as opposed to sending to landfill in the general waste bin.

And by educating the customer that it is a legal obligation to have the food waste recycled, Eco Food Recycling have gained many new clients of all sizes and from various sectors including Hotels, Restaurants, Colleges, Universities, Food Producers and Schools.