Food waste: A global issue
One-third of food produced around the world for human consumption goes to waste. This food waste generates nearly 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and if disposed via waste disposal companies that use landfill sites, it can also release the harmful greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.
So, where is it coming from?
Business Waste estimates around 40% of food waste in the UK comes from businesses and the hospitality industry, while the remaining 60% comes from households. At Westminster Commercial Waste Services, on average over 30% of what we collect as general waste from businesses is in fact food waste.
The good news is, you can make a hugely positive impact on the environment by having a separate food waste collection for your business. This not only ensures valuable nutrients and energy stored in this waste can be recycled, but also helps you to save on waste collections and boost your sustainability impact.
Reducing and recycling your food waste
No matter the industry you work in, the best way to manage your food waste is by reducing it where you can. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Look further than ‘best before’ dates (depending on the product and storage, some foods can be consumed past the expiry date provided)
- Track food waste in your business to identify which products are put to waste and how often
- Take regular stock checks to avoid buying a surplus of food
- Try to use every part of foods to get the most value
- Preserve food where you can
- Consider partnering with food waste minimisation organisations such as Olio and Too Good to Go, that make it easier for you to save unsold food from going to waste. Or, try investigating if there is a local charity who could benefit from a supply of food for those in need.
For food items that are used, the following can be recycled as food waste:
- Meat and fish (including bones)
- Eggs and all dairy products
- Fruit and vegetables (including peelings)
- Bread, cake and pastries
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
- Flowers and floral decorations that aren’t plastic/textile
How can we help?
At Commercial Waste Services, we can collect your food waste recycling separate to your other waste, reducing your overall collection costs. We can also help your team understand how best to separate food waste ensuring it is safely contained and doesn’t contaminate your recycling.
Our dedicated food waste collection service comes with all the bags and bins you need for a hygienic recycling process that is compliant with animal by-product (ABP) regulations. ABPs such as animal carcasses and catering leftovers must be disposed of separately from general waste and cannot re-enter the food supply chain. For everything you need to know about ABPs and catering waste, explore our animal by-products guide.
Once collected, we send the waste to an anaerobic digestion facility for energy recovery – the most environmentally friendly treatment available for food waste in the UK. The remaining waste following the energy recovery process is then turned into fertiliser for agricultural purposes: from the farm to food, to food for the farm. Every year at Commercial Waste Services, we collect enough food waste to produce fertiliser to nourish the wheat for 580,000 loaves of bread.
To find out more about our service, download this short guide to collecting and disposing of food waste.
Connecting corporations and communities
Working together is the key to reducing overall food waste. If your business has food to give away, please get in touch so we can explore opportunities to reduce your food waste and simultaneously support local communities.