Partnership Initiative Launched to Tackle Scotland’s Food Waste

Food Waste Scotland truck

As Scotland’s mounting food waste issues attract increasing attention, two Scottish companies have come together to offer the country’s only fully integrated collection and treatment solution.

Food Waste Scotland is the innovative collaboration of leading waste management and recycling company Binn Group with major food waste processors Earnside Energy.

Operating side-by-side at Binn EcoPark near Perth, the companies plan to collect and recycle up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste each year, generating around 18 million kilowatt hours of electricity for the national grid.

In preparation for the partnership, Binn Group invested in a fleet of new state-of-the-art food waste collection vehicles with onboard weighing capability in 2017. At the same time, Earnside Energy increased capacity at their Aneorobic Digestion (AD) facility utilising the very latest technology.

The Food Waste Scotland initiative is designed to reach out across Scotland offering any business producing waste food a cost-effective and compliant solution.

Since 2016 it has been a legal requirement in Scotland for all businesses generating more than 5kg of waste food to segregate this from other waste streams and to ensure it is collected separately.

Binn Group Chief Executive Allan MacGregor said that the amount of food waste generated in Scotland was “staggering”.

“The Scottish Government has set an ambitious target to reduce the amount of food waste by 33 per cent by 2025,” he explained. “Segregating food waste makes people conscious of the amount they produce and encourages them to try and reduce that amount.

“Food Waste Scotland is leading the call to encourage everyone in Scotland to play their part.”

The new partnership also pointed out that even if the Government achieved its target figures, there would still be an estimated one million tonnes of food waste in Scotland requiring proper collection and treatment.

And Mr MacGregor emphasised the need for everyone to segregate food waste in order to avoid contaminating other waste streams, rendering them non-recyclable.

“While the focus is on reducing the volume generated by homes and businesses, there are opportunities to work with existing and future clients to identify food waste issues and offer a more environmentally sustainable and cost effective solution.

“Food Waste Scotland is a partnership between Binn Group which has established collection routes and customers throughout the country and Earnside Energy which has the technology, expertise and experience to process food waste efficiently and effectively.”

Mick Fishwick, Director at Earnside Energy, said the Food Waste Scotland partnership would undoubtedly make an impact on the industry.

“We operate one of the best AD plants in the UK and have invested significantly to increase capacity to be able to offer a much-needed service in Scotland,” he said.

“Having worked successfully for many years with Binn Group, we are excited to launch this new venture together.”

Earnside Energy’s Anaerobic Digestion facility operates in excess of 90 percent efficiency – well above the national AD standard of 71 percent.

The AD system uses natural biological processes to break down food waste to generate methane. The methane is used as a fuel to generate heat and electricity. The heat is then used as part of the AD process while the power is exported for use in homes and businesses across Scotland.

AD also generates liquid digestate fertiliser which is stored in tanks on site. This fertiliser is then used by local farmers as an ecological, nitrogen-rich, chemical-free alternative to synthetic fertilisers.

This means AD has twin carbon benefits: reducing reliance on fossil fuels and avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers in Scotland’s agricultural industry.

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