Wales is third in Europe for food waste recycling

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Food waste recycling at record high in Wales

Wales has cause to celebrate after recent figures suggest that it is the third best country in Europe for food waste recycling and the best in the UK.

According to the figures, Wales is recycling 60% of its food waste; this is a record high for the country and for any UK nation. However, despite the positive news, recycling leaders and campaigners in Wales have said that more can be done to tackle food waste.

Wales offers a free food waste collection service to almost 99% of its inhabitants, which goes some way to explaining why Wales in particular is so successful at recycling food. However, sources say that 3,500 tonnes of food waste is still being dumped into general household waste bins.

Food waste success for Wales

A food waste truck in Conwy, north Wales

Angela Spiteri, Campaign Manager for Recycle for Wales, said: “…30 per cent of black bin waste comprising of food waste, we can still do so much better as a nation.”

When unwanted food is thrown away with general household waste, it ends up at landfill sites, where it rots and produces the dangerous methane greenhouse gas. Wales authorities want to avoid this happening as much as possible, especially as food waste can be used in anaerobic digestion plants to generate energy.

According to specialists, the 3,500 tonnes of food waste that is not being recycled could be processed at one of Wales’s anaerobic digestion plants to create enough energy to power one school for 2-and-a-half years.

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Natural Resources, commented: “Having visited the food waste anaerobic digestion plants across Wales I have seen first-hand what can be done with food waste and how much energy can be generated from it. I would encourage everyone to continue to recycle as much of their food waste as possible.”

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