Gove’s Ambition Welcomed, But Cash Strapped Councils Need Backing : ADBA Calls for UK Government to Put its Money Where its Mouth is on Food Waste Collections

michael gove anaerobic digestion biogas food waste collections adba defra

The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has “made it a particular priority of my department to end the environmental, economic, and moral scandal of food waste,” Secretary of State, Michael Gove said yesterday.

Giving speech on UK Climate Change Projections Gove said:

“As well as working with water companies, farmers and land managers to help meet the challenges of climate change we are also developing a new Resources and Waste Strategy.

“We will set out measures to improve resource productivity, maximising the value of products by increasing reuse and recycling, and minimising waste. We are determined to create a more circular economy.

“I have made it a particular priority of my department to end the environmental, economic, and moral scandal of food waste.

“Sent to landfill, food decomposes producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. So we want to ensure more councils collect food waste separately and send it to anaerobic digestion plants to create green biogas for heating our homes and fertiliser to improve the soil.

“We should also try to prevent nutritious and healthy food being thrown away in the first place. That’s why, last month, I announced a new £15 million fund to redistribute surplus food that would otherwise have been wasted to go charities who help those most in need.

Industry Reaction

Responding to the speech Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), said:

"Michael Gove is absolutely right in everything he says about the scandal of food waste and the need for separate food waste collections to ensure that inedible food waste is recycled into renewable energy and natural fertiliser rather than being wasted in incineration or landfill.

"What we now need in the government's forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy is a clear commitment to rolling out food waste collections across the whole of the UK along with the requisite funding to ensure that cash-strapped local authorities have the resources to implement this solution. Anything less will make it impossible for Mr Gove to meet his commitment to end the scandal of food waste."

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