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Governments to Fast-Track Organic Waste Recycling


Screenshot_2015-04-29-02-59-37-1There has been a push from various companies and environmental organisations to have all political parties in the UK develop and execute a comprehensive plan to divert food waste from landfill.

This follows the appoval of California’s Assembly Bill No. 1826, passed in September 2014, for the State of California to commence implementing the legislation for businesses that generate large volumes of organic waste, as of 01 April 2016. This, according to the Bill, initially applies to businesses that produce greater than eight cubic yards of waste per week. The following also apply:

– From 01 January 2017, companies that produce over four cubic yards of organic waste per week will be obliged to manage it

– From 01 January 2019, enterprises that produce over four cubic yards of commercial solid waste (as stipulated under the Bill), will also be required to seek a food recycling management system.

Despite California’s initiative to advocate a comprehensive food recycling system, there is a major onus on the rest of the USA and other developed countries (let alone, the entire world) to adopt measures that initially prevent food waste. It is astonishing to believe that between 46 and 61 per cent of food in developed nations (in 2009) was discarded at the consumer phase.


Food wastage and loss per region, 2009, UN FAO-1

Food Loss/Wastage per region and at different stages in value chains (used on kcal content, 2009)

Combating food wastage will also address carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), accounts for the annual release of 3.3 billion tonnes for CO2 equivalent being released into the atmosphere.

A vast amount of progress is required to drastically reduce these rates to ‘acceptable levels’. Governments and businesses must endeavor to devise a comprehensive yet rational plan that prevents (and manages) food loss in an economically-viable manner. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this scheme ultimately depends on how much time and effort are people willing to spend to correctly separate food scraps from rubbish and other recyclables. Unless broader communities understand the significance of resource recovery, in conjunction with the provision of infrastructure from governments and/or businesses, such an idea remains a case of token environmentalism.

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