Food waste prevention leaves a good taste in the mouth
Traipsing my way through a sewage works on the way to a meeting is not how I imagined I would spend my Tuesday afternoon but the journey was worth it.Traipsing my way through a sewage works on the way to a meeting is not how I imagined I would spend my Tuesday afternoon but the journey was worth it.
This week I popped into the offices of the West London Waste Authority to speak to Sarah Ellis, who has been its waste minimisation co-ordinator since 2010. The authority works with six boroughs - Richmond Upon Thames, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Harrow, Ealing and Brent on a joint waste prevention strategy.
As part of her role, Sarah produces annual action plans to prioritise intervention for the authority and the partner boroughs, and has just started work on the second action plan under the five-year strategy. She has identified five top materials in terms of weight that require preventative action - food, textiles, disposable nappies, furniture and electrical items.
Of these materials, food waste accounts for the largest proportion - on average about 30% of the material that comes through in the residual waste stream. What's interesting is that this percentage is as high as it is considering that five of the six boroughs already provide a kerbside food waste collection.
The West London Waste Authority is about to start some fascinating work on food waste (and you can read more about it in LAWR over the coming months). Suffice to say, one of the projects takes a holistic approach to this challenging issue while also empowering local people by providing valuable life skills.
Heading back across the sewage works, I left the offices with a good taste in my mouth.Nick Warburton