Jul 25th, 2023
4 mins

The UK Government has committed to rolling out separate, weekly household food waste collections across the UK by the end of 2023 as part of new Environmental Legislation. As a result, this will lead to greater scrutiny for all food waste generation and high potential for new or adaptive processing of this material, both domestic and commercially

The BFFF sit on the Food and Drink Manufacture Forum (FDMF). The subject of adaptive technologies used for producing energy from food waste was discussed. The HSE are interested to find out more on the progress made by BFFF member companies. In particular, around energy processing constructions, that have been repurposed or “adapted” to process newer fuel types, or utilise previous reject material or gases as part of secondary energy recovery.

Pilot visits undertaken by HSE specialists have shown the recovery of energy from food waste appears to be a rapidly developing area, with different processes and technologies to breakdown the organic matter through separation and recovery of:

  • the gas
  • the solids (digestate); and
  • the heat

Some of these technologies are still their infancy, with both large and SMEs experimenting to find the best way to utilise the organic material.

The HSE would like to undertake a series of fact-finding inspections, to help identify current designs, actual working processes, and future concepts – involving energy recovery from commercial food waste. This work would engage with both in-house food manufacturing businesses, or collection and processing by dedicated third-party energy companies.

These visits are intended to be informative and working with companies to enable the safe transition to net zero, as outlined in the HSE Strategy 2022-2032.

In the first instance, HSE would like us to cascade this letter to our member organisations, with a request that they kindly respond to the author and answer the following questions.

  • Are you already undertaking (or intend to undertake) work in-house or via third-party to generate your own energy e.g. electric, gas, heat?
  • What machinery or equipment is being used/ intended in these processes ?
  • What stage of the equipment introduction are you at (concept, design, assembly, commissioning or operation)?
  • Where is the above expertise for installation/ operation being obtained e.g. in house/ consultant/ retrospective?
  • Who is responsible for plant integration?

Please see HSE letter HERE


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