Expert calls on restaurants to go green with food waste

November 29 2013

A LOCAL sustainability expert hopes to expand a recycling scheme, which helps local businesses manage their food waste, to the Gloucester Road area.

A LOCAL sustainability expert hopes to expand a recycling scheme, which helps local businesses manage their food waste, to the Gloucester Road area. Caddies outside Cafe Kino on Stokes Croft
The Food Waste and Recycling Scheme, which launched this April in Stokes Croft, was set up by Martin Fodor, to ensure all commercial food waste is recycled in the area.
The scheme was a result of local cafés and restaurants wanting to manage their waste responsibly.
Mr Fodor said: "I recognised that disposing of unavoidable food was an issue with small traders, as there is no council service available to collect business waste - arrangements are up to businesses not the council.
"I found that staff, as well as restaurant owners on Stokes Croft, had an awareness about food waste, but we needed something practical in place."
Stokes Croft's tapas restaurant, Poco, was one of the first businesses to join the scheme. Since Mr Fodor has worked with the team, they have also gone on to win two national awards for their commitment to sustainability.
According to Mr Fodor, keeping food waste out of landfills greatly reduces methane emissions - a very powerful greenhouse gas.
Food waste is stored in small caddies, then collected by a contractor and taken to a nearby site. Through anaerobic digestion, which is similar to enclosed composting, energy can also be generated from the methane produced by the food waste, thus benefiting the environment significantly. The material created is then used for farms and agriculture.
According to recent statistics, the UK throws away over 16 million tonnes of food waste every year. Each tonne of food waste generates around 4.5 tonnes of CO2.
Mr Fodor confirms that there has been "plenty of interest" from local traders on Gloucester Road, who have raised concerns about food waste storage.
He did secure some funding from Bristol Green Capital - a partnership whose aim is to make Bristol a low carbon city - in order to introduce the scheme to Gloucester Road and the Harbourside, but Mr Fodor confirms that more work is needed.
Local business CollectEco are the recommended contractors who retrieve waste from local traders in Stokes Croft. However, conversations are currently being had with Viridor - a larger, Filton-based waste recycling service, who could be potentially taking over CollectEco.
Mr Fodor stated: "I do hope any changes still ensure a service that suits smaller local businesses who are otherwise on their own, unlike larger chains.
"With landfill tax becoming more expensive, this scheme will be a good incentive to make people recycle."
However, he does recognise that the process of recycling food waste can be expensive.
He added: "If I can help people reduce their food waste, through smart buying ideas that reduce packaging, for instance, then I can save them a lot of money."