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Valpak's Blog brings to you thought provoking articles, from key members of staff, on a wide range of environmental topics.

Make a meal of it - the best ways to deal with food waste

Jonathan Williams
Oct 09, 2017

As a provider of waste management service to the UK’s largest wholesaler we understand the specific recycling requirements when it comes to managing large volumes of food waste. If you are a food wholesaler, it is imperative that you take advantage of best practice and the current opportunities in todays’ market place.

  • Am I taking advantage of the growing Food Wholesale recycling industry?
    • As more and more Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants come online there is a growing capacity for organic waste. The likes of Biogen, ReFood, Agrivert have all invested in long term facilities. This, coupled with more vehicles out on the road has meant increasing opportunities for capturing food waste. Whilst the government doesn’t seem likely to introduce a food waste ban in landfill anytime soon, there is a growing corporate and social movement which means companies are taking control of it themselves to reflect their customers wishes.
  • Am I separating enough of my food?
    • Over-packaged food can be considered a burden, however to combat this, food waste processors are becoming more and more adept and handling the packaging around food, including at least one facility to separate glass. This packaging is sent off for further reprocessing.
  • Do I need a separate ABP collection?
    • Butchery waste has always needed a separate collection, however food waste companies are happy for food to contain CAT 3 ABP products negating a need for these special collections.
  • Have I got the right size bin?
    • Because of the weight and nature of food waste bins, the bin size is limited up to 360kgs. Wholesalers can struggle with this as disposal of items can be multiple pallets of bins and then apertures of products can be too much to take. There are some companies that will allow large scale skips, and wheelie bins to service wholesalers specifically as to reduce the numbers of bins on site.
  • Am I engaging with charities, food kitchens?
    • There are now an increasing number of local & national charities whereby useable food will be collected, therefore reducing any waste costs down to zero. Fareshare will bulk up food waste and central distributions centres, but also offer local charities to come direct to store to assist in reducing the amount going in the bin.
  • Can I generate an income from the surplus?
    • It is possible to find income streams from surplus food and ingredients before thinking of it as waste. For example, Takestock has a platform where they make it easy for sellers to find buyers and vice versa.
  • Am I getting the best deal?
    • As with all waste collections these chargeable services should be reviewed regularly as growing competition , improved scheduling all help to improve efficiency and pricing.
  • Do I have time to decant the food for naked waste?
    • There can be a financial advantage to decanting your food, and in addition it could open up the number of providers that can accept this material. It would then be more likely to go to animal feed and the excess packaging converted.
  • Can I supply animal feed?
    • All appropriate food that has the potential to go to animal feed must be signed off by your local Trading Standards Authority and a HACCP process be put in first. This is to ensure non appropriate foods are kept out at all costs.
If you would like to talk us about managing your food (waste) or would like to share your best practice ideas, email us.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.