Veolia Environmental Services will be monitoring the waste systems of 12 McDonalds restaurants in a bid to help it divert waste from landfill.
Veolia will be monitoring what materials go into the restaurants and what waste comes out of it in a pilot trial that will take three months. It will be asking customers to segregate onsite and looking at different options of how to divert McDonalds waste from landfill. Veolia will also look at taking food waste for in-vessel composting, anaerobic digestion and energy recovery.
McDonalds will be working closely with biological waste treatment company New Earth Solutions to collect materials to its composting plant (See MRW story).
Veolia head of technology Richard Kirkman told MRW: Commercial customers do not always have room for two bins and it is difficult to find room for segregating materials.
We will be looking at 12 stores on the south coast and introducing different bins to staff to segregate in the kitchen. The McDonalds system works on a codified basis and it will make it easier to introduce manuals to staff to help them segregate their waste.
We are working with this big commercial customer in the restaurant industry and looking at different waste streams in commercial waste to find a sustainable solution for that. This has the potential to apply everywhere in the high street and can create a snowball effect to put a similar type of scheme in place in other high street outlets.
New Earth Solutions commercial director Peter Mills said: We will be working with McDonalds to assess the quality of materials coming through their stores and if they can use compostable packaging that can be viable with our composting systems.
This could mean that McDonalds may look at using biopolymer materials for their food packaging and wrapping materials in the future.
Mills added: We are trying to do a heart and minds campaign at corporate level. McDonalds are trying to achieve a carbon neutral objective and waste management can contribute to that environmental objective.