What Happens To Food Waste?

As more and more people become aware of the damage caused by global warming, more and more individuals and businesses are seeking out ways they can increase their recycling. So what about food waste, what happens to it when it is thrown away in landfill and what happens when it’s disposed of via food recycling?

Food Waste In Landfill

When disposed of via landfill, food waste is very damaging to the environment. This is due to the gasses that are released whilst the items of food waste decompose. As they rot, discarded items of food waste release a gas called methane, which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

When people think about greenhouse gasses and global warming, people often think of Carbon Dioxide. However, this isn’t the only greenhouse gas, and it’s far from the most damaging to our environment. Mankind contributes to the destruction and damage of the planet and ecosystem in many different ways, not just by the emission of carbon dioxide. For example, methane, the gas that is released when food waste rots in landfill is actually 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat trapping gas. [Source: Environmental Defence Fund] So whilst carbon dioxide is the most commonly emitted greenhouse gas in terms of quantity, methane makes up around 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. So it’s essential that your business does everything it can do to reduce not only your carbon footprint, but also your methane footprint, and a great way to do this is to reduce your food waste and implement food waste recycling practices.

How Food Waste Can Be Recycled

There are numerous different ways that food waste can be recycled, two of which are composting and anaerobic digestion.

  • Composting
    Food waste can be mixed with garden waste and composted. In this method of disposal, items of mixed food and garden waste are shredded and placed into an enclosed system where temperatures are increased to 70 degrees centigrade. The mixture is then left for around 2-4 weeks which ensures that any harmful microbes are killed. After this, the mixture is left outside to mature for a length of time ranging from a month to three months being checked and tended to regularly, before being used as a soil conditioner.

  • Anaerobic Digestion
    This method of food waste recycling uses microorganisms to break down the waste. It can also be used to break down items of animal manure, slurries, and energy crops. Inside an enclosed system without oxygen, the released methane is collected and converted into biogas which can be used to generate electricity or create fuel. Additionally, anaerobic digestion also creates a nutrient-rich digestate, which can be used as a fertiliser for agriculture and land regeneration projects.

The Advantages Of Recycling Food Waste

To say that climate change and global warming is a threat to the planet is a significant understatement. Arguably, it’s the biggest cause for concern facing the human race as a species. According to information from NASA, since the late 19th century the average surface temperature of our planet has increase by approximately 0.9 degrees Celsius. [Source: NASA]

Often when we think of the dangers that global warming and climate change presents to the planet, we think of shrinking polar ice, and issues with crops such as 60% of coffee species on the edge of extinction. [Source: BBC] There are also issues right here at home in the United Kingdom. In the UK global warming and climate change presents the very serious threat of an increase in flooding in both in land and coastal areas. Flooding can cause significant damage to property, cause numerous injuries, and it can even lead to lives being lost; after all it only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock an adult off their feet. As such, global warming is serious threat to life as we know it, so we have to do all we can to prevent further damage to the environment.

Recycling your food waste isn’t just about causing less damage to the planet and the environment; there are also significant monetary advantages to be found by responsibly managing your waste. For example, the gate fees at food collection sites which utilise the above mentioned food waste recycling methods of anaerobic digestion or composting are significantly lower in comparison to the gate fees you will expect to pay at landfill disposal.

So How Can BKP Group Help?

Here at BKP we can provide convenient and easy recycling solutions for your business’ food waste. So regardless if you’re a small business using recycling bins, or a large chain using tanks to store your waste; our team is equipped with the skills and abilities required to help your business become more sustainable and more environmentally-friendly.

Based in Romsey, Hampshire, we are ideally located to serve any type of domestic, commercial or industrial location throughout the South East of England. As we’ve served the region for over 50 years now, so if you’re in need of a food recycling solution, get in touch with BKP Group, a leading waste disposal and recycling business.

Get In Touch With A Member Of Staff Today

If you’re interested in learning more information regarding our food recycling services or any of the other environmentally responsible waste disposal solutions available from BKP Group, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of waste management specialists. You can speak to a member of staff by calling 0800 376 5004 or alternatively, you can send any enquiries you have via e-mail to sales@bkpgroup.com.

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