Food for Thought as Local Food Waste Recycling Business Booms

From: Eco Food Recycling
Published: Fri Feb 11 2011

The business, set up nine months ago by former international sportsmen Andy Jones and Simon Heaps, collects commercial food waste from several local and national organisations including universities, hospitals, schools, hotels, a pub chain, restaurants and shopping centres.

The waste is currently turned into compost but will, later this year, be converted into renewable energy.

The UK produces over 8m tonnes of domestic food waste every year (costing the average family more than £700), but many more millions of tonnes of commercial food waste goes straight to landfill, the worst outcome for the environment as it produces gases that are 25 per cent more damaging than carbon dioxide.

Eco Food Recycling’s clients include universities in Southampton and Winchester, Castlepoint shopping centre in Bournemouth, Tower Park leisure complex in Poole, Paultons Park theme park, Queens Park infant and junior schools in Bournemouth, Whitbread pubs and Premier Inn hotels.

In the first month of trading, Eco Food Recycling recycled just under three and a half tonnes of food waste, by December this had risen more than ten-fold to nearly 38 tonnes … and the business continues to grow.

Co-director Simon Heaps, a former England table tennis international, said: "Recycling is a hot topic. Unless businesses and governments address this issue it will have grave consequences for our environment. Controlling waste streams is vital to any business, and the service we offer gives clarity and can help reduce costs."

Fellow co-director Andy Jones, who played football for AFC Bournemouth, Port Vale, Leyton Orient, Charlton and Wales, added: "It‘s hard work, but very satisfying.

"We don’t just recycle food waste, we weigh and analyse it, then discuss potential improvements to the service. We‘ve succeeded because our clients are equally committed to making it work, they too buy in to the huge benefits, not just for them, but the environment as well."

Case Studies …

Staff at Royal County Hospital Winchester were staggered to discover that over a tonne of food was being wasted each week. Eco Food Recycling worked with the hospital to not only recycle the food waste, but reduce it as well.

Castle Point in Bournemouth began using Eco Food Recycling on a trial basis last August, and it soon became apparent the restaurants were producing a great deal of food waste that could be diverted from landfill and the on-site compactor. The trial was so successful that the collection service was extended to coffee shops, and over 12 tonnes of food waste that would once have been destined for landfill has since been recycled. Castle Point operations manager Bill Riddle said, "We had no idea we were producing so much food waste, and we’re delighted that it’s now 100 per cent recycled. The service offered by Eco Food Recycling is excellent, punctual and pro-active."

University of Southampton managers aim to eventually recycle all food waste on campus. Eco Food Recycling have so far collected 42 x 240-litre capacity bins containing a total of nearly four tonnes of food waste which has been delivered to a purpose-built composting facility run by Eco Sustainable Solutions at Parley, near Bournemouth, and turned into nutrient-rich compost. Mike Travers, University of Southampton campus services manager, said: "We’re very proud of our recycling efforts and working with Eco Food Recycling is further enhancing what our team is striving for … zero landfill."

An eight-week trial at the University of Winchester was so successful that not only has the contract been extended but rolled out to other parts of the campus. To date almost 70 x 240-litre capacity bins have been collected, a total of just under seven tonnes of food waste. Mat Jane, University of Winchester energy and environmental manager, said: "With figures which are accurate to within 10 grams we’re able to calculate how much we’ve diverted from landfill … and the reduction in our carbon footprint.

"Eco Food Recycling have been very pro-active and have delivered on everything they promised. We look forward to working with them in the future … and recycling 100 per cent of the university’s food waste."

For more information, visit or call 01202 873967 or 0780 161 9963.

Simon Heaps
Eco Food Recycling
36 Wayside Road
St Leonards
Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 2SJ
01202 873967
Company: Eco Food Recycling
Contact Name: Simon Heaps
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 01202 873967

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