We’ve spoken before about the need to cut down the amount of food waste that is sent to landfill. This is important, not only so companies can avoid paying out (unnecessarily in our view) any more landfill tax than they should, but also to avoid using up precious and diminishing landfill capacity and to avoid environmental damage caused by methane release as food products break down.
The problem of food waste going to landfill can be immediately addressed by specialist food waste collections that take these products to be disposed of and re-used responsibly.
Anaerobic digestion is regarded as the most efficient way to deal with food waste, and handled properly, its by-products have a number of uses.
AD is now emerging on a large scale, and despite some local opposition from residents who are unsure of the technology on their doorsteps, it is proving to be a real winner.
The most effective method for food waste recycling, anaerobic digestion is most conveniently described as a collection of processes by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The most essential product from an industrial sized food re-processing plant is fuels which can be used in nearby power stations.
This being the case, anaerobic digestion is widely used as a source of renewable energy, producing a mixture of methane and other gasses. Solid waste at the end of the process can be further used as fertilizer, so waste is minimal. While this technology is hardly new – it has been a way of life in developing countries such as India for decades – the rising price of fossil fuels and the need to cut down on carbon emissions means that AD has now attracted wide attention in the rest of the world.
It’s not just large scale use, either. Households can have small scale digesters for their gardens, producing good compost for growing new crops. In farms, biomass plants are an obvious choice for those with a lot of organic waste, both in the form of otherwise wasted plant matter, or a seemingly never-ending supply of cattle poo.
For your company, just arranging food waste collections is enough. It cuts waste and cuts landfill and makes huge sense.
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