Waste as a resource: re-establishing the value of unwanted assets

Every ‘waste’ product is a resource and has a value – either to its current holder or to a new one.
The starting point in understanding waste as a resource is to stream ‘wastes’ by type. This is not a new concept but remains extremely helpful. Sub-streaming wastes, to avoid unwanted contamination, can prove an important next step.

Two of the most commonly cited issues include:

  • Retailers’ insistence on ‘perfect’ fruit and vegetables resulting in the landfill or other disposal of millions of tonnes of edible food
  • Sell-by / use-by date confusion resulting in foodstuffs being thrown away by retailers, eateries and households.

Food ‘wastes’ are traditionally difficult to recycle as they have a short lifespan – but they are one of the most important waste streams to tackle. Food which ends up in landfill (19% of all ‘wastes’ landfilled) produce methane gas, which is 25 per cent more potent than carbon dioxide and is very harmful to the atmosphere. Anaerobic digestion plants are a very good way to recycle food wastes, producing a valuable biomass which is turned into energy – but there are other solutions.

VisionRe works with producers, retailers and restaurants to recycle food waste by finding other uses. Working with charities and other manufacturers, for example, we solve many environmental and humanitarian issues while also creating substantial cost savings for many organisations.

We can also help you with your food packaging wastes, including plastics, cards and foil wrappings.

Food waste management: beyond the whole food

Hot as mustard! ‘waste’ husks and seeds now fuel a power station

Working with a leading food manufacturer, VisionRe has diverted over 1,000 tonnes of ‘waste’ mustard seeds and husks per year away from landfill. Instead, we found further use for it, converting it into fuel for a nearby power station.

This is a carbon-neutral disposal route, as the CO2 produced by collection is counteracted by the CO2 savings in fuel consumption.

This solution also saves the company £15,000 per annum.

Recycle food waste with the help of Waste Match