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.

 

   

Waste disposal costs are rising – here’s why

The waste industry in the UK is having a difficult time, global markets have driven recycling revenues down, tax increases and levies threaten disposal routes, and the uncertainty of the market post-Brexit has all added to an already struggling market.

It has been well publicised how the world’s doors have closed to UK exported waste and recyclable materials, being at the forefront of sustainable solutions has been harder to keep up with than ever for UK businesses over the past 12 months.

Many businesses have been exposed to cost increases for the disposal and handling of its waste, as well as tumbling recycling rebates. In some areas of the UK, businesses have reportedly had no option but to pay for the disposal of their cardboard and paper recycling.

Government Taxes over the past 10 years have increased the strain on disposal costs, and a serious shortfall of infrastructure capacity of UK based waste to energy facilities are being blamed. The UK government are licensing more power plants than ever before, but ultimately, is it too little, too late? I guess we will have to find out.

The changing situation in the UK and the EU

A large percentage of the UK’s 32 million-plus tonnes of waste produced each year is sent for recovery through energy from waste plants. The UK has a small number of plants however, plants in Northern Europe are used to process waste into energy. Some countries in Northern Europe have now implemented additional taxes for plants turning waste into energy, these incineration taxes have impacted on UK disposal routes gate fees.

Cardboard and Paper

Recycling rates for the UK’s cardboard and paper have dropped by as much as 70% in 2019, as demand for our recycled material dried up, without new licenses being issued and recyclers opening their doors to the UK product, we can expect yet more reductions. Some parts of the UK have already seen rebates totally dry up, and some businesses are being charged for the removal of cardboard. Specification for recyclable cardboard has also increased during the last 12 months, putting pressure on recycling facilities to improve the grades of material they accept and process.

Helpful articles for you

We have done our research and put together a list of the articles we think will be the most helpful to you:

Cost of rubbish disposal to rise £1bn as landfill taxes increase

Landfill Tax: increase in rates

Dutch RDF import tax could see waste cost hike

Sweden introduces energy from waste tax on refuse derived fuel (RDF)

Dutch senate backs ‘RDF tax’ but court case looms

Sweden confirms EfW tax from April 2020

Quality push remains in falling cardboard market

Working through the worst of times (for cardboard recycling)

 

   

 

 

Brexit – How will it affect our waste charges?

The UK produces around 400 million tons of waste from domestic and commercial facilities every year. For every ton of household rubbish, commercial, industrial and construction businesses produce a further six. Currently, a large proportion of our non-recyclable waste is exported to EU countries. With the UK being set to leave the EU on 31st January 2020, it’s left us thinking…how will it affect our waste?

What are we predicting?

We know that incineration costs tend to move in line with landfill costs, and we don’t know for sure what will happen, but it’s expected that once we leave the EU there will be taxes or levies put in place when exporting waste to the EU. Some waste management companies are already starting to put in a price increase just in case this happens. Some Northern European countries have already applied additional Taxes on Energy From Waste plants, applying yet more pressure on disposal costs.

How can we help? 

We will get to know your operation, your objectives, and environmental policies and discuss potential solutions. We will discuss areas to the greatest effect so that a positive outcome is more influential. The solutions will always be sustainable aspects and ensure the business operates in a cradle to cradle manor.

Case Study

We’ve been able to provide alternative solutions for one of our customers who had a Roll On Roll Off for their general waste that was being emptied three times a week before we were able to provide a more sustainable solution. What did we do? We took out bulk sacks, polythene, and wood waste so that this material can be recycled. With bulk sacks and polythene being collected together and waste wood separately, they now empty once in 9 weeks.

Get in touch with us by clicking the button below for your free no-obligation quote to find out how you can save, and be more sustainable.

(source for statistics https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/where-does-all-our-rubbish-go-465773.html)

 

   

Inside Care Home Waste

If you follow us on social media, you may already be aware of who Dove Cottage Day Hospice is. If you don’t, then Dove Cottage Day Hospice offers high-quality palliative daycare to those with life-limiting illnesses. Flame UK has been supporting Dove Cottage by encouraging businesses and schools to collect plastic bottle tops which they send to be recycled and in return, get money.

We asked Jenny Hendry at Dove Cottage what kind of waste they produce inside their hospice, here is what she had to say:

“We have all sorts of waste to deal with at the hospice, some of which will be familiar to the regular homeowner, but also other types that present different challenges.

The bulk of our waste is the regular kind, which we split into general waste and recycling. There are separate bins in different rooms around the hospice, with signs on those in the common areas explaining what can and cannot be recycled. These bins then get emptied regularly and put into large outdoor receptacles.

The facilities that we have for our regular waste are generally okay, although we can struggle for space when we’ve hosted an event, and the bins are too full. This then has a knock-on effect as we must find somewhere to store any overflow until we have a collection. As with any organisation, you don’t want too much waste hanging around! The other thing we need to stay on top of, as an environmentally responsible organisation, is ensuring we’re recycling everything we can.

With a lot of volunteers on our books, some 250, this can sometimes mean the waste needs to be checked and sorted to ensure that everything is in the right bins, especially when things change or it’s not immediately obvious what can and cannot be recycled.

Our other type of waste, which is more specific to a care environment, is contaminated waste. This is put in yellow and black striped bags, known as ‘tiger bags’. All such waste must be disposed of correctly, which is why we need to have a clear bagging system and a storeroom for the bagged, contaminated waste. Only certain people from our nursing or cleaning team handle the contaminated waste so we can make sure everything is done correctly; we also need to ensure everyone who’s in contact with the contaminated waste wears the correct protective clothing. The hospice is a relatively big space, and we need to manage the waste efficiently and safely in and around the building. The contaminated waste then gets placed in our normal outside black bins, with the onus being on the binmen to ensure it’s correctly separated from other types.

As a hospice and a care environment, our challenge is to make sure we are always handling waste in both a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Our support structure and account management is very communication focused. We can provide larger waste bins, or skips on a temporary basis, increase waste bin collections frequencies, or event-specific waste services. Identifying opportunities to recycle is extremely important, and all of our customers, where possible in the country will receive zero waste to landfill options.  Some waste material must go to landfill, but limiting this is essential to the environment.  Energy from waste is our preferred method of treating non-recyclable materials. A customer that generates large volumes of waste can benefit from waste compaction, or baling of card and polythene.  This has two main benefits; reduced cost from haulage and transportation, and reduced CO2 to the atmosphere, making your site more efficient.

Flame UK can offer any advice and services to the care industry, contact us on 0115 896 5460 to discuss your waste.

 

 

Care home

How Flame UK can support Care Facilities

Managing waste and energy correctly for our Care Facility Partner is a priority to us. We share the same goals and aspirations as our Care Facility partners, ensuring you have the necessary support long term.  The nature of care is that waste is created and energy is used, but why should your business suffer.
How can Flame UK support Care Facilities?

Offensive & Clinical Waste

We understand that these waste streams are sensitive to care; we will support you to find the very best solution for your business.  We offer Orange, Tiger, Yellow and sharps waste services to suit your business and volumes.

General Waste

Do you know what items should only be disposed of as general waste? It’s polystyrene, floor sweepings, plastic bags and contaminated plastic packaging. No other type of waste should be included in your general waste. We offer a wide range of container sizes, service frequencies and technology to help reduce vehicle movements. Waste to energy is our preferred method, and we would always advise food waste be separated to lower your costs.

Food Waste

Collected as a separate waste stream, we will support you to put this in place and take advantage of lower processing costs. The food waste collected is treated and turned into energy and fertiliser.

Packaging

We can help you to become more efficient with packaging waste materials created from deliveries and food processing such as cans and plastic bottles.  We can offer you a solution that suits your business, whether that be large wheeled bins, or if your volumes are high, we can supply baling equipment.

Clearances

We can provide skips / large container or on-demand collection service for your large seasonal volumes of waste around Christmas, or clearances.  We can also offer electronic waste collections, mattress clearances and furniture clearances.

Wash Rooms

We can provide air fresheners, hand dryers, sanitary bins and services, soap dispensers or water management to help reduce your water usage. Flame UK can support you and complete a comprehensive service package.

Energy

Did you know that if you do your laundry at night, you will save money because of cheaper night tariffs? By choosing Flame UK to manage your energy, we will make sure that you know about all of the tips and tricks to saving money. Such as how you can switch to LED lights and get renewable and green energy at no additional cost, making your care home more energy-efficient.

Flame UK will ensure that you get the right contract for your care facility which is up to date with the latest energy compliance and that the supplier terms fit with your needs. You can even find out how much money you can save by using our price comparison. 

PAT Testing

PAT Testing may not be on everyone’s mind when it comes to compliance but it is crucial, not only to ensure that everyone remains safe and worry-free but to also conform with the below regulations:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

Electricity usage is unavoidable for care facilities, from powering lights, nurse call systems, CCTV systems, and so on. If poorly managed, it can have devastating effects.

PAT Testing involves the testing, both visual and full electrical tests, of all electrical appliances that are powered through the sockets and could cause any potential dangers. With our highly trained, professional team, Flame UK offer a reliable and cost-effective service that will ensure your business is compliant to the before-mentioned legislations.

Allow us to help you be sustainably strong in a competitive and developing market.

 

 

The solution for your distribution waste

Flame UK is in a unique position to support customers in Distribution, Logistics and Warehousing.

It isn’t only general waste we can collect, but pallets, card and polythene.

           

Coupled with our ability to provide vehicle maintenance waste materials such as oils, rags, scrap metal and chemicals.  We are also able to provide a cradle to cradle support system that helps our customer single source with confidence.

From excellent communication, account management and forward-thinking Flame UK promises to put your requirements first by taking the time to get to know your business.

 

 

The Most Wonderful time of the year or The Most Wasteful time of the year?

As the Christmas period is full of tradition and celebrations, it’s no surprise that it leads to a monumental amount of waste that is produced every year.

As an example, the average UK adult spends around £300.00 on Christmas gifts. The average child receives roughly 16 gifts in total. Considering the number of countries celebrating the festive period, that is a lot of bubble wrap, ribbons, wrapping paper, name tags and gift bags to dispose of. To add to this, over one billion Christmas cards are sold in the UK each year alone.

Christmas Gifts

Christmas gifts

In the UK alone we create 30% more waste than usual during the festive period. Including two million turkeys and six million Christmas trees. These figures are truly shocking. Something has to be done by both businesses and consumers to reduce our impact on the planet.

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With extra waste being produced by pubs, restaurants, retailers, distribution/logistics, supermarkets, manufacturers and many more during the Christmas season, now is the perfect time to start making a difference in preparation for the big day.

Give us a call to discuss how Flame UK can help you manage your Christmas waste. 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Do my Controlled Drugs need Denaturing?

Unwanted or out of date controlled drugs need to be denatured. This must be before they are destroyed so that they cannot be recovered, reused or retrieved.

Pills in daily pill organiser

Pill organiser

What is controlled drugs denaturing?

Denaturing is when the controlled drugs are mixed with a binding matrix to make them unrecoverable.

 

 

 

 

 

Before out of date drugs are placed in a pharmaceutical bin, they must be denatured. The Sewage system isn’t an option. 

Here at Flame UK, we offer Controlled Drugs Denaturing Kits. So you can make sure your controlled medicines can’t be retrieved and are unfit for further use until they are destroyed entirely via incineration. If you are responsible for Health Centres, Surgeries, Hospitals, Veterinary Clinics or Pharmacies, the importance of the correct management of controlled medicines is paramount to your business under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001.

Blue stethoscope

Stethoscope

Our Denaturing Kits are simple to use and ensure your compliance, available in a variety of sizes from 250ml to 4L; we have the solution for your premises.

 

How big is your bin?

Want to know the exact dimensions of Wheelie Bins, Skips and Front End Loaders?

You could just stand next to it and see or you could check out our handy guides.

You can even download these useful guides from our resources page.