This week we have a guest blogger, JunkWize, who have very kindly contributed on the highly topical issue of food waste….
As the nights draw in most of us can think of little better than getting home and cooking ourselves a warm and tasty meal. Some of us are so enthusiastic to do this that by the time evening arrives we have eyes far bigger than our stomach. The inevitable result is that food is leftover because either too much was bought or not enough was eaten. In the UK every year over 7.2 million tonnes of food and drinks are thrown out.
If you can’t store the leftovers then what do you do with them?
The Councils across Greater Manchester collect food waste and any type of food can go in this bin. The waste that the council collects will then be taken away and composted by Recycle for Greater Manchester at In-Vessel Composting Facilities in Rochdale, Stockport, Bolton and Trafford. What’s really great is that you can then buy this compost and use it to nourish your garden. That’s a circular economy in action.
The benefits with this are numerous, but the one that stands out is that by producing compost this way ancient peat bogs are preserved (peat is used as a material in many commercial composts). This is significant because scientists have concluded that peat is an invaluable carbon store. Richard Lindsay, from the University of London, has stated that:
“If we are concerned about CO2 we shouldn’t be worrying first about rainforests, we should be worrying about peatlands. The world’s peatlands have four times the amount of carbon than all the worlds’ rainforests. But they are a Cinderella habitat, completely invisible from decision-makers.”
Picture supplied by Michael Colvin
Manchester University has a ‘sustainable waste plan’ which has been highly effective as they now have a recycling rate of 33%. That’s quite an achievement for an organisation with around 40,000 students and 10,000 staff. They have really tackled the problem of packaging, and in 2010 they introduced something called the ‘Hug Mug’. This is a reusable mug which students and staff buy so they can get a 20p discounts on hot drinks and soups when they use them. These mugs have meant that at least 12,000 disposable ones have not been used and that hundreds of trees have not had to be felled.
Manchester is also the home to the Green Chef initiative; a project set up by local waste services company, Fresh Start. Aimed at businesses, they make recycling food easy and they make sure that 100% of the food waste goes into making compost. Many of Manchester’s top restaurants are signed up to this.
If you are a business and are looking at ways to reduce your waste and recycle, then have a look at Recycle fort Greater Manchester’s business support pages.
So there are many ways in which food waste can be recycled. However, we mustn’t underestimate the importance of changing our consumption habits and think about reducing food waste in the first place, changes here would benefit the environment enormously.
This article was written by rubbish removal company, JunkWize. They remove domestic and commercial rubbish in Greater London and they are committed to recycling as much of the collected rubbish as possible.