Assessing Food Waste Resources: Tony Asson, Rural Consultancy
Assessing food waste
resources in the local area
“Present and Future”
What do we know?
The aims of the session:
• To quantify how much food is available?
• Where it might be?
• How easy it is to get at?
• Are there complexities associated with these
• How long might it be around?
• Some practicalities
So how much is collected?
Estimates suggest that less than 5% (<250,000 tonnes) is recovered
and processed in the UK Source: WRAP April 2008
Landfill diversion targets require municipal biodegradable wastes sent
to landfill to drop by 10 million tonnes by 2013
In Shropshire 91% is disposed of to landfill leaving 8% recycled or
In Telford & Wrekin 86,000 tonnes of MSW is sent to landfill p.a. - more
than 500kg per resident p.a.
Estimates in Telford suggest 12,000 tonnes p.a. is kitchen waste
A sparsely populated county – 0.9 people per hectare vs 3.9 nationally
Waste hot spots?
– Telford & Wrekin
– Shrewsbury & Atcham
Look at the Business stock and where is it?
33% of Shropshire’s VAT registered businesses are in T&W
What type of businesses?
– Food & Drink
– Large numbers of employee’s
Problems associated with commercial
1. Contamination from packaging, other wastes
Research on food sector found that 81% of mixed food
and packaging waste was sent to landfill (110K
Shropshire is a big offender!
Source segregated material is the easiest waste stream
but it’s already being dealt with - only 3% going to
landfill (18K tonnes)
Views of waste contractors – “there’s plenty of it but… most of
its got packaging attached”
Problems associated with commercial
2.Regularity of removal
3.On site storage systems
Other Waste Streams
Schools & Colleges
Research by WRAP (June 2008) indicated potentially large waste
Primary Schools = 0.50 kg per pupil per week = 20kg p.a.
Secondary Schools = 0.17 kg per pupil per week = 6.7kg p.a.
Food waste is the single largest waste produced by schools 30 – 45%
Advantage: large proportion is free from contamination 77 to 96%
Hospitals – 5 - 12% of meals wasted
There are significant amounts of food that never reaches the consumer.
Estimates suggest 1.6 tonnes of food waste per store per week
Tesco UK produces 145,000 tonnes of waste p.a. which is sent to landfill.
They aim to achieve recycling rates of 80% - so far only got to 70%
Asda – 35% of their waste is sent to landfill
Waitrose – in AD trials with Biogen Greenfinch as is Sainsbury
Question: Will the supermarkets build their own AD
• Back haul waste to a • Big capital investment
• Not core business
• Large scale supply
• Uses a valuable land
sites – AD footprint
• Logistics of disposal
• Good PR
• Good payback
• Secures some energy
• Public houses – 0.35t/mth
• Hotels & B&B’s - 0.35 – 0.5 t/mth
• Restaurants – 0.5t/mth
Could equate to between 3 - 4,000 tonnes in
Shropshire’s main towns
What causes the commercial
– Under & overweight products and trimming
– Technical errors on machines
– Process failures – e.g. burnt in the ovens
– Market changes – order cancellations
– More efficient process control systems
e.g. Inedible parts of raw food
Poultry feathers – 150K tonnes p.a.
Household Participation rates: 50 to 70%
Household Waste levels
National average is around 2.5kg/household/week
Shropshire Waste Partnership = 2.16kg/ household/week
Research suggests the quantity recycled declines over time
Implications of Recession?
Cost of educating the householder: £3/household = £130K in
Telford & Wrekin
Sparse populations is it worthwhile?
WRAP research suggests ranges in gate fees of £30 to
Some publications suggest upto £100/tonne is possible
Some process at fees of around £15/tonne
Benchmark for med/long term?
£20 to £30/tonne
Remember what goes in comes out…(minus
What will you do with the digestate fraction?