A recent report from the committee for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) entitled Waste management in England urges the government to find ways of diverting more food waste out of the residual waste stream by methods that are economically and environmentally viable and suitable to local circumstances.
Launching the report, chair of the EFRA Committee, Anne McIntosh MP, said the government still needs to address the amount of food waste being sent to landfill: "Separate food waste collections can be disproportionately expensive and difficult to implement in practice, and the government must find practical ways to divert more food waste out of the residual stream but in ways that suit local circumstances."
Environmental equipment supplier Mechline who are mentioned in the report have welcomed the recommendations, which reference their own concerns, namely particular fears about separate food waste collections for onward use as Anaerobic Digestion (AD) feedstock and identified a range of associated risks, including contamination levels; carbon emissions from the consequential higher road traffic; and reducing the incentive to minimise food waste and redistribute edible food.
Peter Galliford of Mechline, said: "We strongly support any the objectives of preventing and minimising waste. We are, however, concerned that in responding to objectives set out in the EU waste hierarchy policy, some parts of the UK have focused on a single preferred system to an extent that reduces practical options offering more environmental and economic solutions and stifles innovation and development of waste management techniques in foodservice establishments."
The report recommends that operators should be given choice as to how to evaluate different options factoring in their own situation and operational demands, to deliver the best environmental and economic outcome.