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Economy

Recycling London’s Food Waste: A Campaign For Change

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A campaign and report that was launched today to build pressure on London councils to drastically improve food waste separation and recycling rates aiming to reduce the amount sent to incineration and landfill.

The Tackling London’s Food Waste report, published by Bio Collectors, lays out the issues around food waste in the capital and launches a campaign to encourage change for the better. Just AD Food calls for councils to improve waste collection and disposal methods, in a bid to improve recycling and reduce emissions.

More often than not, councils send food waste in London to landfill or incineration with only 18 of 33 London boroughs collecting food waste separately. Critically, food waste that is segregated cannot by law be sent to landfill and should therefore be made a priority for councils. With food waste costing the UK more than £19bn a year (WRAP), as well as causing extensive damage to the environment, it is a problem that must be addressed.

The report also calls for raised awareness of the waste hierarchy. The average person still throws away as much as £200-worth of food each year, rising to £700 for families, according to Recycle for London. Disposing of London’s food waste is costing waste authorities more than £50m annually, and generating approximately 2.1m tonnes of CO2. More needs to be done to reduce the amount of avoidable food waste.

Since 2000, recycling rates in London have been steadily rising, but have now plateaued at around 33-34 percent. Landfill sites are filling up and AD plants in the UK are only thought to be operating at an overall 50 percent capacity. As the largest food waste collection and recycling company in London, Bio Collectors, processes around 100,000 tonnes annually. The question is, with 890,000 tonnes of consumer food waste produced in London a year – where is the remaining 800,000 going?

The four key objectives of the Just AD Food campaign are:

  • To put pressure on all London councils to conduct separate food waste collections and send to AD plants.
  • To encourage London-based restaurants and retailers to take responsibility for the environment and chose a local AD plant to process food waste – the most cost-effective disposal method for their waste.
  • To ensure that food waste that is recycled isn’t transported great distances to be processed and instead is processed locally.
  • To ensure London’s AD plants operate at full capacity before any food waste is transported out the capital.

Bio Collectors works with a number of major hotel, restaurant and supermarket chains in the capital, offering an environmentally-friendly way of disposing of food waste by using anaerobic digestion (AD) as an alternative to landfill and incineration.

Paul Killoughery, Managing Director of Bio Collectors, commented: “Following our research into London’s food waste, our Just AD Food campaign aims to encourage London businesses to recycle more of their food waste. Our ambition is to put pressure on local authorities and decision makers who are still sending food waste to incineration plants or landfill, when it could be recycled responsibly, reducing the negative impact on the environment.

“The focus of shopping locally and eating locally sourced food should extend to how we deal with our food waste. This would then feed into the circular economy of food that travels from farm to fork, then back to farm.

“With the launch of our campaign, we have identified the four major barriers to the improvement of food waste disposal standards in London. Drawing attention to them via this report and through the campaign will hopefully mark the first step towards making a long-lasting difference.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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