An estimated 10 million tonnes of food waste in the UK goes to landfill every year. The majority of this ends up in landfill. Telford and Wrekin Council put in place a project to help divert this waste stream. Food waste from Telford and Wrekin residents is now taken to an anaerobic digester where it is digested and turned into energy to power homes and businesses. The waste product from the process is also then used as a fertiliser for farmland, producing a huge 8,308 tonnes.
Recycling food waste benefits the planet and saves the Council money that can be used to protect other frontline services. Food is one of our most precious resources, so Telford and Wrekin Council has been urging residents to buy what they need and eat what they buy, and to donate, compost or recycle what can't be used up.
Since introducing the free weekly food waste collection service in September 2019, thousands of tonnes of food waste have been recycled to create energy for homes and fertiliser for farms. Residents in Telford and Wrekin recycled 5,985 tonnes of food waste when the food waste collection service was introduced in September 2019. The CO2 saving was 2,967 tonnes.
It is also recognised nationally, that when a separate food waste recycling service is offered, the amount of food collected naturally reduces, this is believed to be because users can see clearly how much food they are wasting so start shopping/storing better and wasting less.
In June 2020, the food service was shortlisted for two MRW National Recycling Awards: Campaign of the Year and Food Waste Initiative of the Year.
As with all big behavioural change projects, the launch wasn’t without its challenges, but collection crews have been working extremely hard since early September 2019 and collections are now going smoothly.
The Council has put a lot of time and effort in to their waste management education to ensure the right messages are given and that the help and support is available to respond to requests for help.
- Food waste diverted from landfill.
- Amount of carbon saved.
- Energy generated.
- Fertiliser created.