Assessing Food Waste Resources: Tony Asson, Rural Consultancy


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Bioenergy West Midlands
Anaerobic Digestion Event and Site Visit
17th March 2009

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Assessing Food Waste Resources: Tony Asson, Rural Consultancy

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. Assessing food waste resources in the local area “Present and Future” Tony Asson
  3. 3. 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 sources? • How long might it be around? • Some practicalities 3
  4. 4. The size of the food waste stream 4
  5. 5. Household waste
  6. 6. 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 Government Strategy Landfill diversion targets require municipal biodegradable wastes sent to landfill to drop by 10 million tonnes by 2013 Local area In Shropshire 91% is disposed of to landfill leaving 8% recycled or composted 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 6
  7. 7. Commercial Waste Stream
  8. 8. Shropshire 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 – Retail – Large numbers of employee’s
  9. 9. Problems associated with commercial waste 1. Contamination from packaging, other wastes Research on food sector found that 81% of mixed food and packaging waste was sent to landfill (110K tonnes) 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” 9
  10. 10. Problems associated with commercial waste (2) 2.Regularity of removal 3.On site storage systems
  11. 11. Other Waste Streams Schools & Colleges Research by WRAP (June 2008) indicated potentially large waste streams 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 11
  12. 12. Supermarkets 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
  13. 13. Question: Will the supermarkets build their own AD plants? Yes No • Back haul waste to a • Big capital investment depot • Not core business • Large scale supply • Uses a valuable land sites – AD footprint bank not large • Logistics of disposal • Good PR of digestate • Good payback • Secures some energy requirement
  14. 14. Other sources • 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
  15. 15. What causes the commercial food waste? Avoidable waste – Under & overweight products and trimming – Technical errors on machines – Process failures – e.g. burnt in the ovens – Market changes – order cancellations Solutions – More efficient process control systems Unavoidable waste e.g. Inedible parts of raw food Poultry feathers – 150K tonnes p.a.
  16. 16. Practicalities 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 <2kg/household/week – Awareness Implications of Recession? Cost of educating the householder: £3/household = £130K in Telford & Wrekin Sparse populations is it worthwhile? Contractual arrangements 16
  17. 17. Practicalities Gate Fees WRAP research suggests ranges in gate fees of £30 to £60/tonne 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 17
  18. 18. and finally Remember what goes in comes out…(minus a bit) What will you do with the digestate fraction?