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SME food waste project launched by Defra

A fund to encourage innovative means of collecting food waste from small businesses and public sector buildings has been announced.

A total of £500,000 has been set aside for scheme, to be managed over the next three years by WRAP on behalf of Defra.

Recycling minister Lord Taylor said: “We know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for business waste collection. We need to see innovative solutions put forward that will help set businesses on the path to a zero-waste economy.”

The cash is intended to seed the development of projects demonstrating good practice through greater recycling of food waste by anaerobic digestion (AD) and improved provision of recycling services to businesses, particularly SMEs.

Collection schemes eligible for the fund are those servicing commercial businesses such as restaurants, hotels and catering firms, and public sector organisations including council offices and other public sector buildings.

Head of collections and quality at WRAP Linda Crichton said: “The maximum value of a grant under this current round will be £100,000 per applicant and this can be used towards capital items such as vehicles, collection bins and caddies, or for labour and overheads costs.

“Applications will be assessed against published criteria, and must demonstrate good practice approaches to collecting business food waste, as well as outlining ways of both reducing service costs and maximising food waste recycling.”

A collection tonnage target will be agreed for each successful applicant over a two-year period and WRAP will work with successful recipients to provide advice on service development and implementation as required.

All collected food waste must be recycled through an AD or in-vessel composting process in England.  

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