Over half the food waste created by the Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum’s 12,000 members is sent to landfill.
The group - which includes Nando’s, Hammerson and Mitchells and Butlers - blames the lack of anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities. The forum has commissioned a carbon management firm to help increase energy production from food waste.
Possible solutions being examined by Carbon Statement for the forum include backhauling waste to existing AD plants, contracted waste collections, or building dedicated facilities.
This move could help the sector meet ambitious WRAP targets, set in 2012, of reducing food and packaging waste recycled or sent to AD by at least 70% by the end of 2015.
Research by WRAP shows an estimated £720m a year could be saved by the hospitality sector if avoidable food waste was prevented and unavoidable food waste was diverted to AD.
Chris George, head of energy and environment at Whitbread said: “We already recycle restaurant food waste to support our zero waste to landfill targets, so the introduction of backhauling initiatives and opportunities are interesting to explore alongside the benefits and best practice of industry collaboration.”
Richard Felgate, head of energy and environment at Mitchells and Butlers said: “Whilst we already recycle our food waste we are keen to explore how we could make this process more efficient and cost effective through collaborating with other companies in our sector.”
Charlotte Henderson, WRAP programme area manager said: “WRAP is delighted to support this collaborative and innovative approach to increasing the recycling rate of food waste and reducing the amount that ends up in landfill.”