Cost-effective food waste scheme adds value to materials case study

15th May 2012

When The Oracle Shopping Centre set out to meet challenging recycling targets, it quickly discovered that the segregation of food waste not only had a major impact on landfill diversion, but also improved the quality of other waste streams.

Key facts:
200 tonnes of food waste generated annually
Hammerson has set a target of 75% recycling by 2013
Separate collection of food waste has saved £6,000 per year

Introduction

In 2000, The Oracle won the British Council of Shopping Centres' award for Best New Centre. It is managed and part-owned by Hammerson UK Properties, which develops and manages prime shopping centres and retail parks in the UK and France and is responsible for well known shopping destinations including Birmingham's Bullring and Brent Cross in North London.

The Oracle already had a strong recycling rate, collecting cardboard and paper, plastic and glass, but it identified at an early stage that removing food waste from the general waste stream could add value to other materials while helping to meet targets. The Oracle produced a total of 1,776 tonnes of waste in 2011, of which it recycled 36 per cent. Hammerson’s current target calls for 75 per cent of waste across its portfolio of shopping centres to be recycled by 2013. According to Environmental Coordinator Tom White, removing food waste was a key step in the right direction.

“It's absolutely imperative that we reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. When we started to look at this challenge, we saw early on that one of the problems we had with segregation was separating the wet waste from dry waste; and if you do that, the dry waste becomes a lot more valuable. At The Oracle we have 35 restaurants and cafés, so we had a lot of wet food waste contaminating our waste streams.”

Tom White, Environmental Coordinator, The Oracle