Figures from national waste services firm Biffa have revealed that food waste recycling by businesses in the North West rose by nearly a quarter in 2016.
The data suggests that food and restaurant businesses across the region are recycling more food waste than ever, with the figure continuing to rise as more businesses recognise the benefits.
More than 15,000 tonnes of food waste was collected for recycling by Biffa’s own collection service in the North West in 2016, where it was diverted from landfill and sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) plants to produce energy.
A typical AD plant can generate up to 900 cubic metres of biogas from one tonne of food waste.
Chris Savage, general manager at one of Biffa’s AD plants, said: “It’s encouraging to see that more and more businesses in the North West are choosing to recycle their food waste rather than sending it to landfill.
“We work closely with all of our clients to advise on the best way to manage their food waste in an efficient and environmentally-friendly manner, including the importance of food waste segregation.
“We hope that more businesses in the area will decide to dispose of their food waste responsibly.”
The benefits of recycling food waste or diverting it to other uses is not just confined to front line businesses - it can be captured throughout the food and grocery supply chain.
According to resource efficiency NGO, WRAP, businesses in grocery supply chains could collectively save £300 million a year by taking measures to reduce food waste.
The five sectors with most potential are dairy products, meat and fish, ambient products, fruit and vegetable processing, and bakery and cereals.
WRAP has produced a range of useful resources for the food and drink sector, including guidance on food redistribution partnerships, increasing product life and waste prevention.
In 2016, the world’s first global standard for food waste was launched to help suppliers measure, report and manage their food loss and waste.