A half-million pound fund (€600,000) has been launched in the UK to support demonstration projects that encourage the collection of food waste from businesses and public sector buildings.
The pot of money will be handed out over three years, and is managed by Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) on behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
WRAP said that the fund would give private businesses, local authorities and social enterprises economic support for developing so-called ‘demonstration projects’ to showcase good practice and further encourage food waste collection services from English businesses.
The project will support greater recycling of food waste by anaerobic digestion and improved provision of recycling services to businesses, in particular small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Collection schemes eligible for the fund are those servicing commercial buildings such as restaurants, hotels and catering firms, as well as public sector organisations such as council offices and other public sector buildings.
Healthy interest in scheme
Linda Crichton, head of collections and quality at WRAP, who oversees the fund, said: “There has been a good level of interest expressed during the development of this fund.
“The maximum value of a grant under this current round will be £100,000 per applicant, and this can be used towards capital items such as vehicles, collection bins and caddies, or for labour and overheads costs.”
Crichton added that applications for grants would be assessed against published criteria, and “must demonstrate good practice approaches to collecting business food waste, as well as outlining ways of both reducing service costs and maximizing food waste recycling”.
Collection tonnage targets
Each successful applicant would agree a collection tonnage target with WRAP over the two-year period; the body will work with successful applicants to provide advice on service development and implementation as required.
All food waste collected must be recycled either via anaerobic digestion (AD) or an in vessel composting (IVC) process in England.
Recycling minister, Lord Taylor, said: “This new fund will give businesses and community groups a better opportunity to find ways that actually work for them to keep food out of landfill.
“We know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for business waste collection. We need to see innovative solutions put forward that will help set businesses on the path to a zero-waste economy.”