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May 30th, 2013:

Co-operative to Send Food Waste Biffa for Biogas Production

Co-operative to Send Food Waste Biffa for Biogas Production

30 May 2013

By Ben Messenger
Managing Editor

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Co-operative to Send Food Waste Biffa for Biogas Production

British supermarket the Co-operative Group is to recycle all of its food waste at anaerobic digestion facilities which produce biogas for energy generation, as well as fertiliser.

According to the company, its waste back-haul initiative has already been rolled out across 1500 of its stores, and all will now be implemented across all 2800 of its stores, reducing landfill, operating costs and transport miles.

The retailer explained that its back-haul system involves waste being segregated at store level, before collection and delivery by its own Logistics Service to its distribution depots.

From there, waste management firm, Biffa, will deal with the waste as follows:

· Waste food and flowers go to anaerobic digestion to produce biogas (64% of the total)

· Customer and general waste go to a refuse-derived fuel facility, which shreds and dehydrates solid waste to produce fuel (15% of the total)

· Dry mixed items, such as empty milk bottles, tins, cans, office paper and till receipts, go to dedicated materials recycling facilities, which sort and separate those materials which can be recycled (21% of the total).

The company added that cardboard and polythene will continue to be baled and sent for recycling.

In addition, the Co-operative claimed that the scheme will knock thousands of miles off the distribution network, end more than 225,000 skip collections from food stores every year and halve its food waste management costs.

The food retailer, the UK’s fifth largest, added that it worked with

The Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) worked alongside the retailer in an advisory role during the trials for the waste back-hauling project.

“The Co-operative Food has developed a solution that fits with the complexity of their portfolio, large number of sites and their locations across the UK,” explained Marcus Gover, director of closed loop economy at WRAP.

“It will achieve diversion of waste from landfill through increased recycling and treatment of food waste by AD – all whilst reducing their waste management costs,” he added

Time for Hong Kong to stop talking rubbish

Thursday, 30 May, 2013, 12:00am

CommentInsight & Opinion

SCMP Editorial

Yet another plan to solve Hong Kong’s serious refuse problem has been unveiled. Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing conveyed the right level of urgency in launching the government’s blueprint last week, calling the matter “grave”. The mix of incineration, waste disposal charges and improved recycling he laid out are what is needed to ease the strain on landfills, but they are nothing new. They have been put forward by other administrations. There is a significant difference this time, though. The matter has become so pressing that there is now less room for talk than action.

We face a critical situation with our three landfills reaching capacity by the end of the decade. Wong’s solution, which combines better waste management, landfill expansion and reducing the per capita amount being thrown away by 40 per cent by 2022, is a sensible approach. But its success hinges on every company and individual putting their all into the effort. That has so far not happened, with vested interests ensuring the problem has been edged up on rather than decisively resolved.

A patchwork of disposal and recycling schemes have been implemented over the years involving construction waste, electronic components and computers, plastics, paper and food. Beyond the construction industry and a plastic bag levy for supermarkets and large stores, they have been voluntary. Recycling levels have risen to 48 per cent, but that has not stopped Hong Kong from earning a reputation as being Asia’s most wasteful city. On average, we each generate 1.36kg of trash daily compared to 1kg in Taipei, 0.95 in Seoul and 0.77 in Tokyo.

Soaring tourist numbers skew the figures, but that is no excuse for inaction. Our city is small in area and the landfill dilemma has been a matter of public discussion for decades. That should have prompted implementation of waste solutions widely used elsewhere, incineration, household recycling and levies foremost among them. The latter has been put on the table by Wong and details of charges will be released soon.

There is already resistance. Lawmakers, their constituents in mind, have rejected an expansion of the Tseung Kwan O landfill. Incineration has in the past been scorned for the same “not in my backyard” reason. Few will want to pay for what is presently free. Given how irresponsible we have been about waste, though, those are not excuses. A viable plan has been put forward and it has to be quickly turned into reality. We have to give it our full support. Our wasteful ways have to end.



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