British food waste awaits

London borough leaders seem to be considering food waste collection. At an event organized by London Remade, a non-profit recycling consulting firm, London officials heard from the recycling coordinator of Preston, where 7,500 homes take part in household composting scheme, urged London to “jump in.”

Here, here. We all know there’s plenty of bad English food just waiting to be composted. If L-town officials are worried about how food recycling would work on a large scale, they can call up San Francisco’s food waste division.

And there’s certainly vast amounts of food waste to be collected. Just ask London Remade chief executive Daniel Silverstone:

London households produce around 1.3 million tonnes of food waste a year and [London has] half of England’s restaurants – and almost all of this waste ends up in landfill.   

Finally, while we’re talking UK, I found this tidbit on the Web site of upscale British retailer Marks & Spencer interesting:

There is a delicate balance between providing our customers with the widest possible range of foods everyday, and minimising waste: too little and the customer is faced with empty shelves, too much and the bins are full and profit margins low. We have donated unsold food direct to local charities since the late 1960s when we first started selling a wider range of foods in our stores. We donate the equivalent of a quarter of a million carrier bags of unsold food – that’s 1,200 tonnes every year – to various charities. We also sell food at discounted prices to employees.

Discounted sales to employees–now that’s an interesting idea. You mean we shouldn’t just throw away those bags of lettuce because their package date says it should be sold by today?

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