Improve quality of food waste councils urged

21st June 2011


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Related tags

  • Waste ,
  • Prevention & Control ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Local government ,
  • Recycling

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IEMA

Local authorities in England are being called on to ensure the biodegradable waste they collect is the correct standard to be recycled by the Association for Organics Recycling (AfOR).

Following the publication of the government’s Waste Review, AfOR have published two calls for action urging councils to act on removing contaminants such as plastic, glass and metal, to make sure the waste is fit for use in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants and composting sites.

In the Waste Review, Defra followed the lead of the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales in confirming that waste sent to composting sites not compliant with PAS 100 will not be considered as recycled.

AfOR urges councils to act to ensure the biodegradable waste it collects conforms to both PAS 100 and PAS 110 (the AD standard).

According to a recent AfOR survey, removing physical contaminants from the waste delivered to composting facilities is costing the sector up to £78 million a year and the annual cost of sending rejected waste to landfill is in the range of £12.8 million – £19.1 million.

The news came as waste management company Biffa opened the UK’s largest AD plant in Staffordshire. Biffa estimates the plant will be able to process up to 120,000 tonnes of food waste each year and provide enough renewable energy to power 6,000 homes.

“This is the future of waste. It is taking food that could once only be sent to landfill and turning it into something of value on a truly industrial scale,” said Biffa chief executive Ian Wakelin.

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