31 Aug 2021

Food waste roadshow success

Following the success of the recent food waste roadshow, the Isle of Wight council and partners Amey would like to say thank you to all the residents who visited the recent food waste roadshow this summer. The roadshow has been extended into September with new dates.

An estimated 1,500 people visited the roadshow as it toured across the Island last month when the council and partners, Amey, teamed up as part of a food waste campaign. Nearly 2000 food waste bins were given out on the tour.

Due to the popularity of the roadshow, further dates have been announced over September. In addition, many areas across the Island will be visited in September on their collection day to provide food waste information leaflets to households who are not using their food caddies. 

 FOOD WASTE ROADSHOW  new dates added
Date  Venue  Town  Time 
 Thursday 2 September  Tesco Extra  Ryde 10am - 3pm
 Saturday 4 September  Newport Market (St Thomas Square)  Newport  9am - 4pm
 Wednesday 15 September  Ventnor Central Park (opposite Tesco Express)  Ventnor 10am - 3pm
 Monday 20 September  Cowes Parade  Cowes 10am - 3pm
 Thursday 23 September  Yarmouth Pier Street car park  Yarmouth 10am - 3pm

The roadshow was in response to the results of a waste composition study in 2020, which found that 25 per cent of general waste was food that could have been recycled. Almost a fifth of residents in the study were not using a food caddy to dispose of food waste.

The campaign also gave an insight into what happens to our food through a video produced on behalf of the council by Amey and Wight media Services. 

However, you told us that you wanted to know more about food waste and where it goes so we have answered the most commonly asked questions you had:

Food waste Q and A 

Q. How much food is wasted in the UK, on average?
A. Around 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away by UK households every year – the average of £700 of food shopping. (Figures from Recycle Now).

Q. Why do we recycle food waste?
A. Reducing food waste in the first instance is best but recycling our food waste If food waste ends up in landfill, it rots and releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. Our priority is to minimise food waste occurring in the first place, followed by composting food waste that cannot be prevented, reduced or composted at home. The last resort is to send food waste to the Basingstoke Anaerobic Digestion (AD) site.

Q. I’ve seen my food waste thrown in the back of the lorry with everything else, why bother?
A. Our collection vehicles have separate compartments at the back for recycling and waste. Our collection crews empty food waste into one large bin which they then empty into the correct compartment. This is quicker than emptying each food waste container, one at a time.

Q. I need an indoor food waste caddie and outdoor food waste caddy?

A. Food caddies and recycling bins are free and you can have two of each if needed. Call (01983) 823777 or order online at www.iwight.com/waste 
Q. Where is our food waste taken?

A. It is taken to a food waste anaerobic digester site in Basingstoke. More information is at http://www.biogen.co.uk/
Q. Why is food waste sent to Basingstoke and not dealt with on the Island?
A. The amount of food waste generated by the Island population does not justify the costs of building a new plant specifically for what is collected.

On the Island, landfill is the only option as we do not have an in-vessel composting or anaerobic digestor that is permitted to take food waste. Food waste that decomposes in landfill releases methane - a greenhouse gas that is at least 28 times more potent that carbon dioxide. Transporting the food waste 60 miles to the Basingstoke site means we can capture the gasses from decomposition and turn it into energy, with the leftover composted material becoming a rich agricultural fertiliser.

Transporting the food waste 60 miles to Basingstoke where the gasses from decomposition are captured and turned into energy and the food waste to compost has a far lower emission impact than landfilling and puts an excellent fertiliser back into the food system.

Q. Why don’t we recycle our food waste on the Island?

A. There are no digester sites on the Island with the correct licence and pre-treatment to take a food waste stream. The amount of food waste collected on the island does not justify building a new plant specifically for what is collected.  

Sending the food waste to the AD plant in Basingstoke is a significantly lower cost than sending to landfill on the island and has huge environmental benefits in reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses released to the environment from food rotting in the ground.  The gasses from decomposition are collected in the AD plant and used to generate electricity, with the leftover composted material becoming a rich agricultural fertiliser. 

Q. Why don’t we convert the Island AD sites to take food waste?
A. The AD plants on the Island are privately owned and operated. They are not council assets.  They have been designed, built and permitted for agricultural feedstock only. It would be up to the individual owners to choose to invest in such technology.
The food waste stream includes raw meat, cooked meat, bones and plastics, thereby requiring bag and plastic packaging removal, screening and reducing to finer 'lumps' prior to being digested with enzymes appropriate to the mix. The AD site in Basingstoke is equipped to deal with this. An agricultural plant has an even known crop feed that is handled differently.

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The food waste roadshow has been extended
The food waste roadshow has been extended
  • An estimated 1,500 people visited the food waste roadshow as it toured across the Island last month.
  • Nearly 2000 food waste bins were given out on the tour.
  • The food waste roadshow has been extended into September.
Isle of Wight, UK