Food Waste: What happens when it’s collected?

The topic of food waste has started to pop up more and more as we are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact we have on the environment. Food waste can come from a variety of different outlets. From pubs, restaurants, cafes or food manufacturing sites, where ever it’s generated, we all have a part to play in reducing food waste.

Is separating food waste from general waste, actually worth it? Yes. Here is what happens to food waste once it’s collected, and why it’s worth separating.

What happens to food waste after it’s collected?

Food waste bins for commercial properties are around the same size as the bins we have at home. The services available are very flexible, both packaged food and uncooked food can be accepted within the collection. The bins come with a heavy-duty liner to ensure they remain clean and food waste from the prep area can be bagged and dropped into the bins at the end of the day. When these bins are collected, the truck driver will tie up the bin liner, put it straight on the collection truck, lift, tip and replace the liner when the bin has been emptied. The collections are flexible and based on the requirements of each customer.

Once the truck arrives back at the anaerobic digestion plant they tip into a specialised de-packaging area. Anaerobic digestion is the process of breaking down food waste to produce biogas and biofertiliser. During the process, bacteria break down the material and reacts to give off methane gas which is captured within the dome of the AD holding tanks. The methane is then captured and used as a fuel to power generators which feed electricity back into the National Grid. The remainder of the material can then be used as fertiliser, local farmers collect the fertiliser and spread it back onto their fields creating the perfect closed-loop approach.

It’s really important for businesses that produce food waste to consider this approach. Many waste processors are opting for energy from waste, however, leaving wet food waste in your business waste means that energy from waste facilities don’t want it. Leaving landfill as the only option even after the waste has been sorted.

Food is now a recyclable, just as card and plastics are. We pride ourselves in giving our customers a flexible service and offering a route of disposal for all materials, to suit every business need.

 

   

Food for Thought.

What happens to your food waste?

Each year the UK Produces approximately 20 million tonnes of food waste. An even more shocking statistic shows that more than 50% of this is still suitable for consumption. That is enough to feed around 30 million average UK Citizens per year. Just with the food that we throw away!

You may think that sending your food waste to landfill is a sustainable option. It is a biodegradable product, and that would make sense, right? Wrong! Once tipped in a landfill it is surrounded by nonorganic material, making it impossible to break down. On top of that, food waste releases methane gas, which is 20 times more powerful than Co2, contributing immensely to climate change. It is incredibly worrying to think that around 20% of solid waste in landfill is food waste product.

Landfill waste

What can you do?

The good news is that it is easy for you to do your bit in making a difference to not just the planet but your pocket too.

Crabs

Crabs shells

Have you ever considered the materials that are reuseable through food waste? For example, crabs. Crab shells can be reprocessed and turned in to Chitin. A plastic-type material which could, in the near future, replace plastic packaging and products.

Have you ever considered how dyes and colourants are created? Certain food types can be reused to produce colourings and flavourings, which diverts them from landfill.

 

 

The options are forever changing and evolving while we continually look for innovation within our sector and out of the box ideas for diverting your waste from landfill.