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LARAC workshops show appetite for food waste recycling

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Two food waste workshops at the recent LARAC conference gave attendees a lot to digest.

With figures from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) indicating that only 12 per cent of the household food waste that is thrown away is being collected for recycling, there is clearly a big opportunity to reduce the tonnages sent to landfill or incineration.

LARAC workshops show appetite for food waste recycling
The 'no food waste' sticker attached to the residual waste bins by Norwich City Council.

Fortunately, there is a tried and tested set of communication initiatives that can increase participation levels and that have been piloted by over a dozen authorities. These are now being implemented by several councils, including Norwich City Council. Helen Lambert, team leader for environmental services at Norwich, explained to the workshop attendees that tonnages collected for recycling had increased by an average of 40 per cent following the application of a sticker on the residual waste bin, the delivery of caddy liners to residents and updated communications on the service.

UK anaerobic digestion (AD) operator Biogen recycles the food waste collected from Norwich and, having benefited from the higher tonnages, there is a clear opportunity for Biogen to help the council maintain the better levels of participation through ongoing support for caddy liners or communications.

Overall, the workshops identified that there is a real appetite from residents wanting to recycle their leftover food waste, and, if both councils and operators work together, better participation levels can be achieved and maintained.

For more information about AD services, visit Biogen’s website.