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Strong signs universal food waste collections are coming to England

The UK Government’s forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy will “require separate food waste collections”, according to Minister for Investment Graham Stuart MP.

Stuart was discussing the forthcoming strategy at the ADBA National Conference 2018 in central London. He explained that universal food waste collections would be included in a bid to reduce emissions from landfill.

“We want food waste to be collected separately for use in AD plants – to make the green biogas that can fertilise our crops and heat our homes,” Stuart said in his keynote speech at the conference. “An environmentally sustainable option for waste management that cuts down on landfill.”

“[The Resources & Waste Strategy will] tackle long-standing issues like waste crime, collection systems, packaging and plastic pollution – including requiring separate food waste collections,” Stuart continued.

According to ADBA, the trade association for the UK’s AD industry, only around a third of households in England current have their food waste separately collected. However, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the collections are mandatory.

Back in October, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that he would “like to see” a national separate food waste collection scheme.

 

“No-brainer”

“It’s an absolute no-brainer that inedible food waste should be separately collected so it doesn’t end up wasted in incinerators or landfill and so that the energy and nutrition locked up in it can be reused, reducing the UK’s need for fossil-fuel-based energy and fertiliser,” said ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton.

“A commitment by ministers to universal food waste collections will finally allow England to catch up with the rest of the UK in recycling its inedible food waste whilst importantly also reducing the amount of food wasted in the first place.

“It is of the utmost importance, however, that this policy commitment is backed up by meaningful funding to support local authorities that haven’t already done so to introduce separate collections, and that there are measures to support local authorities in achieving sufficiently high capture rates.” Morton continued.

 

Export potential

Another key theme in Stuart’s speech to the conference audience of politicians, policymakers, academics and AD experts was the export potential within the sector.

The MP for Beverley and Holderness said that the UK’s Department for International trade “wants” the country’s AD firms to begin selling their expertise and equipment abroad.

He noted that the Department sees “remarkable opportunities for UK export potential.”

 





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