Why ban wastefood from landfill?
By achieving the goal of zero food waste to landfill, we will not only help to deliver demanding landfill and carbon reduction targets, but we can also save millions of pounds at every stage of the food chain.
It will provide inexpensive renewable energy, deliver employment opportunities, create chemical-free fertilisers for use by UK farmers and help to restore valuable nutrients back into the land.
By separating food waste, we can also unlock billions of pounds of value from recyclable materials currently consigned to incineration or landfill.
This synopsis recently prompted the Green Alliance to describe a ban on food waste to landfill as a 'political no brainer.'31
Around 40% of food waste generated in the UK is currently disposed of via landfill.32
Landfill taxes were introduced in 1996, with a yearly increase of £8 per tonne. Landfill tax now stands at £72 per tonne and will be capped next year at £80 per tonne. Clearly, this is a significant driver for many businesses to divert material from landfill.
The process of layering general waste creates methane, which has a global warming potential 21 times greater than carbon dioxide and methane from landfill represents 40% of all the UK's methane.33
"One of the biggest and most important challenges facing the food supply chain is convincing organisations and consumers to recycle food waste rather than send it to landfill. Efficient processing of food waste can reduce emissions, capture energy and recycle essential yet finite nutrients. When food waste is sent to landfill, not only does it release methane but the nutrient value is not captured. The food waste management industry is tackling the issue of food waste across the food chain, going to great lengths to preserve its inherent value." Fabra – Steve Woodgate, Chief Executive.
31 Dustin Benton, Green Alliance, ADBA Conference report, Food Manufacture, July 2013
32 Defra 2011 Government Review of Waste Policy in England
33 Organic Resource Agency : Comparison of GHG Emissions for Landfill and AD - 2011