Almost 10,000 tonnes of food waste a year derived from public sector organisations could provide impetus for new organic waste infrastructure in the North East, new research claims.
Conducted by M∙E∙L Research, the Study of Public Sector Food Waste Arisings and Processing Options within the North East Region calculated public sector waste arisings across the region using a variety of methods, including C&I waste surveys, food waste from specific public sector areas and direct food waste sampling.
It found that an average figure of 9,724 tonnes of organic waste was generated by organisations such as schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and public sector canteens and leisure facilities in the region a year. According to the report’s findings, sixth form colleges were responsible for 28% of total food waste arisings and universities 25%.
Renew environmental technologies specialist Anastasios Bereketidis said the study’s findings “clearly demonstrate” the opportunity for creating a dedicated processing plant for organic waste. However, he warned that the tonnage would only go half of the way to providing the full feedstock necessary for a plant.
Bereketidis said: “The feasibility of such a plant would depend on approximately 20,000 tonnes of organic waste being made available across the region every year and as such, commercial waste would need to be added to that generated by the public sector.
“As similar plants are operating successfully in Yorkshire and the North West, we firmly believe that the opportunity should not be ignored and would welcome the opportunity to work alongside interested organisations to scope out a commercial plan.”
The study was commissioned by Renew, a group that delivers commercial waste and energy projects in the North East, in the course of its work with The Organics Group.