REA launches new campaign to tackle food waste

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has launched a new campaign to encourage councils to support the anaerobic digestion (AD) sector.

Following the publication of a new Circular Economy package by the European Commission earlier this week, which failed to include mandatory food waste collection, the REA has launched a Food Waste Push campaign to support these industries and improve revenues for many local authorities.

According to the REA, since the May 2016 General Election there have been 12 negative policy announcements that have seriously undermined investor confidence in the AD sector. 

Furthermore, the AD industry faces up to 89% cuts to the Feed-in Tariff and the loss of pre-accreditation for projects.

Reports from Councils and early results from independent research commissioned by the REA indicate that local authorities tasked with waste collection could reduce their costs and improve their balance sheet by collecting food waste separately.

Scotland and Wales have already introduced mandatory food waste collection and it is time England did the same, say the REA.

“Our discussions with councils lead us to believe that the collection of food wastes from homes and businesses makes business sense, not just environmental sense,” said REA Technical Director, Jeremy Jacobs.

“Facing a lack of support from the European Commission on this issue we think it critical to push this cause and support a strong domestic biogas industry. It provides new incomes to many living in rural areas, is a growing source of employment, and enhances our sustainability." 

James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the REA, said “The twelve damaging policies to the renewables industry that have emerged so far, and lingering questions for the AD industry around the Feed-in Tariff and pre-accreditation, are doing serious damage to the UK’s reputation.

“In light of this, we have publicised our Food Waste Push. We’re looking for thousands of signatures from the public to back separate food waste collection across the UK. This supports national food production, energy security, and green growth." 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues