For busy restaurants, cafes, or food stores, getting the right food recycling partner is vital.
Choose the wrong one, and it can impact badly on your business’ reputation, putting people off visiting your restaurant or shop. The wrong choice could cost you dearly in lost business.
So, here are five key questions to ask your potential food waste bins provider before you get a waste compactor:
What to consider when hiring a food waste recycling company?
- What sizes of recycling wheelie bins does your waste company provide? Getting the right size for your business helps you manage your costs, saves space in your premises, and ensures you have proper access. The sizes range from smaller 240 litre wheelie bins to 1,100 litre bins.
- What collection frequency can they offer? For a busy restaurant or café, daily collections may be necessary to avoid overflowing bins, and all the problems this can cause – from complaints about the smell from neighbours to rodents. For other sites, weekly or fortnightly collections may be the better option.
- Does the company provide a range of wheelie bins for dry recycling, glass, and general waste too? Having one company provide all your waste recycling needs will help you control your costs and ensure you get the best deal.
- Do you get an audit trail for your records? There is a growing focus on food waste and the steps businesses are taking to deal with it. So, you need to ensure you have a written audit trail to show how your company deals with food waste.
- Will the company carry out a free waste audit? This is the key to ensuring you get a service tailored just for you, rather than paying for parts of a service which you don’t need.
The facts about food waste recycling
There is likely to be a greater push towards making businesses more responsible for their food waste in the coming years.
A report to the House of Commons Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee in 2017 showed that the UK produces 10 million tonnes of food waste after the farm gate every year, and 60% of that could be avoided. This is despite a reduction of 1.6 million tonnes in the annual food waste figures for the UK in 2016, compared with 2007.
The report recommended that food businesses over a certain size should have to publicly report their data on food waste, as Tesco has done from across its supply chain. While several retailers have shown the will to redistribute surplus food before it becomes waste, the committee said more must be done.
It also recommended that food businesses and retailers should separate food waste, starting with those which produce more than 50g of food waste every week.
If more action isn’t taken, the report says, there could be 1.1 million more tonnes a year by 2025.
That not only leads to economic loss, the UK’s food waste is linked with more than 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.