Recycling food waste ‘cheaper for businesses and local authorities’

Food waste and biowaste collected separately can help local authorities and businesses cut costs. That’s according to a new report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) which stated the UK […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Food waste and biowaste collected separately can help local authorities and businesses cut costs.

That’s according to a new report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) which stated the UK only recycles 10% of household food waste and businesses don’t recycle it at all.

It suggests with a mandatory separate collection system, a firm which produces around 500kg of food waste and biowaste per week could save more than £900 per year.

Furthermore, if the sector introduces a system that uses pay-by-weight pricing, small food producers could also make savings, it added.

Separating waste will help increase and improve dry recycling, leading to further waste collection savings for businesses.

The REA stated gate fees for the separately collected food waste are significantly lower at anaerobic digestion or composting facilities compared to landfill sites.

Collecting food waste and biowaste separately would also help the growth of the green gas industry, it added.

Green gas produced through anaerobic digestion can be used to generate heat and power and as a fuel for trucks and lorries.

Nina Skorupska, CEO at the REA said: “Separate food waste collections is a cost-effective policy that can help us hit our recycling target, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and improve our energy security in one fell swoop. Many regions, including Scotland, Wales and many regions in Europe, have realised the benefits of not letting food waste go to waste. There’s a range of companies now in the UK that are producing their own renewable heat and power from it or even fuelling vehicles with it.

“With our 2020 recycling target fast approaching, now is the time for England to step forwards, where few businesses and only about half of local authorities are enjoying the benefits from collecting biowaste separately.”

A  new report by WRAP also stated around 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted in the country’s grocery supply chain every year.