Imagine a large area of land polluted by a collection of harmful gases as the atmosphere is broken down by them; all this happening on a global scale. Though some may see this as a distant plotline of fiction, without adequate food waste disposal, it may not be so much of a faraway concept anymore.
According to the House of Commons’ publication last year, Food waste in England, over 10 million tonnes of food and drink waste is produced each year in the UK. Even more staggering is that worldwide, the total annual amount of waste is 1.3 billion tonnes.
Environmental Impact of Food Waste
This makes it abundantly clear that any business specialised in either food distribution or waste collection has to be aware of what the best method to dispose of waste products is, both environmentally and financially – especially with a legal ‘Duty Of Care’ to uphold.
If your business is showing these signs of failing your Duty of Care, you should speak to CheaperWaste.
Classification and risk of Food Waste in the Hospitality or Food Service Sectors
Food waste can be easily classified by two major categories; leftovers of eaten food or Former Foodstuffs.
The latter refers to any unsold or unused food of animal origin which is past their sell by date, damaged in either it’s contents or the packaging or has started to decompose. It’s a manager’s job to make sure any such product is removed from shelves immediately.
Animal By Product Categories
What is done with the ABP (Animal By Product) afterward depends on the level of risk it poses.
*Higher Risk waste refers to any product that can’t be sent to landfills or used to make animal feed with. These include any sort of raw meat, fish or eggs, as well as smoked, dried or cured meat such as salami or beef jerky.
*Medium Risk foodstuffs can be sent to a landfill, but not reused as animal feed. Any other type of meat or fish product, egg shells or any or animal product is included here, regardless of what processing has gone into it.
*Low Risk includes bakery products, milk, egg products, animal fats and fish oils that don’t contain any direct meat, fish or shellfish. These can be both sent to a landfill and used as animal feed.
Once you are capable of categorising food waste into one of these three categories, it shouldn’t be difficult to evaluate how they perform on the Food Waste Hierarchy. This is a simple scale with which to measure what is considered the best type of food waste.
How should your particular business dispose of food waste?
Many types of businesses have the common need to dispose of wasted foodstuffs; shops, hotels, restaurants and cruise ships alike. Despite this, not every business has the same requirements and thus, you need to focus on how your establishment is organised and what is the easiest way to properly deal with waste.
Any sort of hospitality industry should be sure to separate food waste from that of regular waste in disposal. Restaurants can also use smaller plates to give customers the incentive to waste less of their meal through a more compact positioning of the meal’s contents.
So much as adding a waste disposal unit to the business building’s sinks can make a difference in organisation.
From an environmental stance, this can be an effective way of reducing methane and CO2 as it prevents the leftovers from being brought to landfill sites. This is very relevant in an era where most people are, and should be, concerned with global warming as it allows for foodstuffs to be taken directly to the sewage systems and anaerobically digested.
This is the action of processing biodegradable material for industrial purposes. In this context, the waste is processed into biogases in order to act as a power source to generate the national grid.
Composting through a compost pile or garden bin can be a good start in this process, with the wasted foodstuffs being broken down through micro-organisms that can help make soil sustainable. Much like your body, heat and oxygen is necessary in efficiently breaking the chemicals down. A hot composter or an accelerator would be very useful in aiding this renewable source.
It isn’t only the atmosphere which benefits from finding ways in which to reuse wasted food. I imagine anyone reading this often drink water and would be disgusted to find themselves devoid of any clean drinking water.
Leachate, a toxic liquid produced by landfill waste, will filter through other waste and build up a higher level of toxicity that can lead to it being a major contaminator of national water supplies.
Need more guidance on disposal of your food waste?
Before all that, it’s important to first estimate the quantity of the food waste your company produces, the best method being weighing and documenting the types of food brought into your business.
Once that is done, you have a good opportunity to compare your waste quantity to similar companies and deduce how to organise your disposal effectively.
Along with the environmental concerns, there’s the other benefit that proper disposal of wasted food can bring for a business.
Financial Benefit of Food Waste Disposal
As a member of a business, be you a trainee, employee or owner, your core goal is to make money. Whilst many will view finding environmentally friendly ways of disposing of food waste such as recycling and reusability to be draining on a company’s finances, that’s far from the reality.
Not only will recycling and reusing otherwise useless waste allow your company to uphold the laws of commercial waste legislation, but will give you a competitive advantage compared to others. Being able to say your business is environmentally friendly is an enticing enough buzzword to bring a lot of publicity to your business and protect it’s sustainability in the long term.
The profits won’t stop there. Along with gaining more publicity, the cost of recycling may be less than the more standard alternative. Depending whereabouts in the country you are, your council’s bin services may charge less when emptying recycling bins for business rather than that of general waste.
Landfill taxes, in particular, are a far greater toll on a company’s finances than recycling, with waste management companies that specialise in recycling being both a more renewable and cheaper option.
Other Waste and Recycling
Reducing the amount of packaging your company uses can be a good start to this reduction of waste. Switching from cardboard to renewable plastic can help a lot in that regard, such a change having saved Coca Cola £44 million.
For liquids, switching to filters for tap water and containing them in glasses saves resources far more in manufacturers needing to use far less petroleum to produce the plastic bottles of store bought water.
One of the most popular talking points you’ll hear about environmentalism is saving the trees which help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Nowadays, most people will be in careers that require a large amount of printing and therefore paper use. So much as focusing on digital documents or only printing off single copies as drafts can go a long way in this area.
Featured below are a few small tips that may help your minimalist paper usage.
*Extensively scan a document for errors before printing.
*Focus on saving documents on memory sticks and cloud storage
*Use both sides of the paper when printing.
*Use staple free staplers to reduce use of metal staples.
*Cancel unwanted subscriptions to avoid paper wastage.
Donating waste to local charitable organisations can be a good option as well. There are several charities around the country such as the Dorset Scrapstore or National Industrial Symbiosis Programme specialise in taking used materials from businesses as free exchange.
Being able to say you’re affiliated with a charity is always seen as a benevolent trait that will sway people into seeing your business as a wholesome company.
Where to start with your Food Waste?
You can’t expect this to all happen overnight, however. Make sure to communicate your intent to make a stride in the renewing or efficiency of food waste management to your business regardless of what role you play in the company, making it clear that this will benefit the company as a whole both financially and publicly.
Overall, organising your food waste properly and finding a recycling disposal company is a massive benefit for both your business’ finance and impact on the environment.
Imagine your business, whatever it may be, being praised as a company specialised in reducing their carbon footprint and renewing the energy of former foodstuffs. Your company is able to easily categorise it’s waste through keeping records on their food intake and remove most of the waste through a disposal unit.
This could be a nice ideal that may hold some weight when switching to a far more renewable usage of food waste.
CheaperWaste can help make that happen. We compare prices of over 200 Waste Collection companies that can remove and dispose of your Food Waste ethically for composting.
All while saving you more money in the long term, by reducing the weight of your general waste bin and using a seperate Food Waste bin instead.