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Westminster City Council

London Food Waste Month – June 2017 – tackling the growing problem of food waste

The Evening Standard have deemed June 2017 as ‘Food Waste Month’ (full details at www.standard.co.uk/topic/london-food-month). During this time they are hoping to raise awareness for food poverty, by putting into reality the huge amount of food waste that is being generated in London every day. Commercial Waste Services supports this campaign and hopes that you are also willing to make a change for the benefit of all.

We’ll be looking at the problem and also at how Commercial Waste Services can recycle unavoidable food waste and put it to good use in this blog.

What is the food waste problem?

Here is an example of the problem we face:

“Reports have shown that people aged between 18 and 34 are wasting 12% of the food they buy”

With food being much easier to access nowadays, both in terms of the quantity and the variety being made readily available, there is little wonder that there are tonnes of food wasted every year. There also seems to be a real focus on food in society with TV and social media platforms, such as Instagram full of food-related content. Before you know it, you can turn your Tuesday night’s Spaghetti Bolognese viral!  This ‘encouragement to experiment’ however, if we are not careful, can also lead to large amounts of food waste.

Who is doing what to tackle food waste?

Chefs:  Professional chefs from around the world are trying to demonstrate to the public that a slightly ‘off coloured’ vegetable isn’t doomed for the bin, but in fact can be used in a range of different dishes. From your favourite soups to your famous pasta dishes; these ingredients are perfect for the whole family. It is claimed that older generations are much more used to doing this as they were raised with shortages of food, particularly post-World War 2.

Food poverty charities: Another main surge for something to be done about food waste in the UK comes from charities tackling the increase in food poverty. The Felix Project in London is one of the main charities that deliver food that is deemed ‘un-fit’ for sale. Recently there has been an appeal to supermarkets to support charities like this to help provide hungry UK residents with the nutritious food they need.

All of us: Individuals can help by being just a little savvier in what we buy, the usage of our ingredients and the quantities of food we make. Avoiding throwing away food unnecessarily makes a difference!

The cost of food waste

Food waste is not only a huge waste of money – it is also a huge waste of energy. For example, the food waste you throw away has to be transported by truck from your premises to the treatment centre. As such we want to prevent food waste in the first place.

Here at the Commercial Waste service, we understand there will always be food that needs to be disposed of. However, there are much better disposal and recycling options that don’t involve landfill or adding to giant fatbergs in the sewers of London via the use of macerators.

We have invested in anaerobic food digestion facilities; this is where the separately collected food waste is taken to a facility to generate energy (via the methane gas emitted during the digestion process) and the remaining residue is used as fertiliser for use on local farms. This ensures a closed loop approach: food waste from Westminster is turned into nutrients that help grow the future food that will be consumed in Westminster.

Ready to start making a difference with your food waste?   

If you want to do your part and make a change to London by recycling food waste, then click the button below to get started straight away with food waste collections.

We will supply you with all food waste containers and liners as part of the service. Collections are arranged to suit your operations.

Get started with Food Waste collections