The case for recycling is economic and environmental

Cat Butterfield & Lily Gray from First Mile

According to the U.N FAO, if food waste were a country, its impact on global warming would come third after the US and China. In the UK 41% of the waste produced by pubs, restaurants and hotels is food waste, with 45% coming from food prep, 21% from spoilage and 34% from plate waste (WRAP).

With waste disposal costs increasing for businesses (the average cost is £0.97 per meal) recycling food waste can drive down costs because anaerobic digestion of food waste costs less than incinerating it via a general waste service. It also adds brand value. The environmental credentials of a business has an undeniable influence over choices made by both customers and staff.

The solution:

Choose a waste contractor who can collect recycling, general waste and food, separately

By substituting general waste with food waste sacks, your monthly bill should start to decrease by almost half

Position one food waste bin next to the food prep area and another where plates are cleared to capture plate waste. If you make the bin easy for staff to utilise, they will fill it up with the right material

How to engage staff.

Make use of posters and labelled bins explaining what can and cannot go in with the food waste

Conduct bin audits to establish how good the staff are at following recycling instructions!

Establish a baseline recycling rate and set targets for food waste reduction and recycling, and share results with the business every quarter to demonstrate progress.

Conduct workshops with First Mile to explain the benefits of reducing and recycling food waste.


Anaerobic digestion produces gas and electricity as well as nutrient-rich compost. 750 restaurants have saved money and increased recycling rates with First Mile, including Ottolenghi who saved c. £9,668.75 a year and increased their recycling rate to 60% (c.30% higher than London’s average), hard to achieve without having a food recycling service in place.

Every food sack processed by First Mile EMITs 5kg of CO2 LESS THAN a general waste sack. This is a great way for businesses to demonstrate their environmental impact as well as improve their bottom line.

For more information about how you and your business can benefit from Food Waste: Bad Taste click here.

Find out more about food waste recycling here.  

Get in touch at [email protected]

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email