Food Waste Collections to SMEs: Developing the Business Case

29th November 2016

This report looks at ways of making food waste collection services more efficient and more affordable to businesses, with the aim of increasing take up and diverting more food waste from landfill.

Key points:
The different food waste collection options modelled have, overall, similar service costs
The addition of a new food waste collection service should be able to be provided to an SME at a similar overall cost to a baseline situation where a dry recyclables and residual waste service is provided
Future scheduled increases in landfill tax and higher gate fees in some regions could make the overall service cost lower for a system that includes the separate collection of food waste compared to one without the separation of food waste



Over the past few years there has been considerable expansion of household food collections, with the amount collected having increased six-fold since 2007/081. However, large quantities of food are also known to be generated in the commercial and hospitality sector, for which collections and services are still limited.

Research has been undertaken over the last couple of years looking at the feasibility of undertaking collections of food waste from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and schools, and at waste arisings and waste composition in the hospitality sector.

Evidence from this research suggests that businesses are willing to recycle their food waste, but there is a lack of service provision. In addition, a business would expect to pay a reasonable charge for the collection and disposal of its waste, while the service provider will need to make an accurate assessment of the resources needed to run the service, calculate the costs and estimate the revenues.

WRAP identified that further work was required to determine the financial business case for the provision of food waste collections to SMEs, particularly those in the hospitality sector, through the identification and analysis of a selection of potential service models for a range of business types.

To find out more about these potential models, please read the full report using the links below:

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Where next?

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