Supplier Opinion – Food waste, kerbside collection and FWDs – how can legislators get it so wrong?

16 December 2011
Supplier Opinion – Food waste, kerbside collection and FWDs – how can legislators get it so wrong?

Governments around the world, national and local, are looking at ways to tackle food waste. But are they the right ways? The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) thinks not. While we fully support moves towards zero waste, we have significant concerns about the legislation being considered.

The main issue is that the focus tends to be on kerbside collection - ignoring the technologies that are already demonstrating effective separation at source. These include food waste disposers (FWDs), in-house composting solutions and storage containers, all of which enable a food service establishment to manage its waste efficiently and, in most cases, more economically than under a kerbside collection system.

Proponents of kerbside collection often raise concerns about the "potential adverse effects" of FWDs and other food waste treatment systems. These concerns are misleading and incorrect. There is a significant amount of robust, international scientific evidence to prove these technologies now deliver an effective, environmentally sound solution.

In larger kitchens, onsite food waste equipment can actually contribute to income. An award-winning composting system at Imperial College, London, achieved payback in less than a year, recycling over 50 tonnes of food waste.

Here's the bottom line: the established food waste treatment technologies are a better way to achieve zero waste targets than kerbside collection. Plus they provide a solution that's more environmentally sound and at a lower cost.

Mick Shaddock,chairman of CESA

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