Call to local businesses to reduce food waste

As part of the European Waste Reduction Week, waste management company, RiverRidge Recycling, is calling on businesses across Northern Ireland to rethink waste and reduce and recycle.

RiverRidge Recycling, regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s largest and most innovative independent waste management companies, along with WRAP and the European Commission, are backing this leading waste reduction initiative.

Running from 22nd until 29th November 2015, the project is the biggest waste campaign of its kind in the world, with countries from all over Europe taking part. The Northern Ireland theme is led by the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign, which aims to encourage businesses to take positive action to reduce food waste.

Gavin McDonagh, Business Development Manager, RiverRidge Recycling, explains, “The European Waste Reduction Week is an opportunity for businesses to take stock and look at their waste and ascertain can they be doing more to reduce their waste. It’s vital for each and every organisation to understand their waste and how they can reduce it and if possible, drive towards to zero waste policy.

“As of 1 April 2016 legislation dictates that businesses producing more than 50kg of food waste per week will be required to manage this waste stream separate to their general waste volumes. This will require engagement by businesses that deal with food, so I’d advise businesses to take action now.”

“At RiverRidge Recycling we manage food waste services for a number of large food manufacturing and retail businesses across Northern Ireland. We have always pursued a zero to landfill policy with food waste and are continually investigating new and more efficient landfill diversion strategies.

Northern Ireland’s households and businesses create over 100,000mt of food waste each year and in an effort to ensure this resource is fully maximised, new food legislation is being introduced to force businesses that produce food waste to properly manage it.

Gareth Moore, Franchisee Operations Consultant for Paul Connan’s McDonald’s restaurants, comments, “All McDonald’s restaurants have processes in place to reduce the amount of food wasted, by way of efficient stock control, ordering and production systems.

“It is extremely important for any business to have an excellent waste management partner who can guarantee a comprehensive food waste management strategy. We have recognised our responsibility in this area, and have been separating food waste for disposal since April 2014, in line with McDonald’s procedures.

“RiverRidge Recycling has certainly provided a highly efficient disposal service, on a weekly basis RiverRidge Recycling helps us divert almost one tonne of food waste from landfill; the majority of this food waste is coffee grounds and egg shells. The step-by-step programme ensures we continually improve our environmental performance and our much ‘greener’ services safeguards our community and the greater environment.”

Gavin concludes, “Implementing the necessary changes to meet these responsibilities may present challenges for some, but with the help of a good food waste management strategy and taking the right action, our customers can contribute significantly towards the zero waste targets and the overall protection of the environment.”

Danielle McCormick, Love Food Hate Waste NI comments “It is fantastic to see some of Northern Ireland’s biggest companies really take onboard the challenges of reducing food waste, especially during EWWR2015. I really think that there is something in this call to action that we can all take away to reduce the amount of food, and money, that we waste every day from our own homes and businesses.”